An unlikely combination – the Gulf and low-cost airlines
Thursday, 20 March 2008: In a bid to cater to travel demand within the Gulf, Dubai, the owners of Emirates, have announced plans to equip its fleet with single-aisle aircraft within the year.
This new low-cost carrier, which currently has no name, is to fly to areas within four and a half hours of the Gulf Arab emirate, according to Emirates Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum.
He continued, “We are looking at the market, and will either buy or lease, depending on the price, and other things.”
The new carrier is to be managed by the Emirates’ head of commercial operations.
It is likely that Boeing Co 737s or Airbus A320s are to be selected for the fleet.
The proclamation from the ruler of Dubai announcing the newfound carrier, as reported by the state-owned Emirates News Agency (WAM), included the stipulation that services should be priced “on the living and economic conditions to suit their income”.
“There is a need for it in the region,” Sheikh Ahmed said. However, the new carrier will compete with five others in the area, including the Middle East’s largest low-cost airline, Air Arabia.
Executive Officer of Air Arabia, Adel Ali said “The market is sufficiently big for all of us and it will complement us. I am pleased such an airline has seen our business model as a success and decided to do the same.”
However, Air Arabia does not use single-aisle planes, although Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways uses Dubai as a hub with its single-aisle planes, the Economic Times reports.
The executive vice president of commercial operations at Emirates, Ghaith al-Ghaith, will be the new carrier’s CEO.