flydubai has finally announced when it will resume regularly scheduled passenger flights after grounding the vast majority of its fleet since March 25. Initially resuming services to 24 destinations from July 7, the Dubai-based airline is hoping to increase that number to 66 destinations by the end of the summer. The restart date will coincide with the opening of Dubai to foreign tourists.
flydubai’s chief commercial officer, Hamad Obaidalla said it was the “perfect time to return to the skies,” after three months of hibernation.
“Following the recent announcement we welcome a return to service in a safe and measured way,” commented Obaidalla. “We have redesigned our passenger journey that is built upon existing high standards to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and we can now bring people together once again.”
Initially the airline will offer flights to Addis Ababa (ADD), Alexandria (HBE), Almaty (ALA), Amman (AMM), Baku (GYD), Beirut (BEY), Belgrade (BEG), Bucharest (OTP), Dubrovnik (DBV), Esfahan (IFN), Juba (JUB), Kabul (KBL), Khartoum (KRT), Kiev (KBP), Krakow (KRK), Lar (LRR), Nur-Sultan (NQZ), Prague (PRG), Sarajevo (SJJ), Shiraz (SYZ), Sofia (SOF), Tbilisi (TBS), Tehran (IKA), Yerevan (EVN).
flydubai did not say what destinations it was planning to add over the coming weeks and months but said the resumption of flights to other countries would be dependent on travel restrictions being eased and international borders reopening.
Citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as foreign residents, are already allowed to return to Dubai, while tourists will be allowed to enter early next month. Visitors will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate dated within four days of travel or take a test upon arrival in Dubai.
The emirate has been progressively easing lockdown restrictions in the last few weeks, including the end of a national disinfection programme. Malls and entertainment venues are now fully open, along with beaches and hotels. Mass gatherings, however, remain forbidden for the time being.
Along with requiring passengers to wear masks, flydubai cabin crew will be kitted out in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the airline says lavatories will be cleaned every 20 minutes to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.