Friday, October 28, 2011

flydubai considering future aircraft orders

Unlisted low-cost carrier flydubai is looking to order new aircraft as early as next year and expects to break even soon, the airline's chief executive said on Thursday.

"We should be making an announcement (about orders) in the next year at least or two years maximum," Ghaith Al Ghaith told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

However, he ruled out any new orders at the Dubai Airshow, scheduled to open next month.

The Dubai-based carrier's last order was in 2008 when it bought 50 Boeing aircraft, of which it has received less than half. All the aircraft are expected to be delivered by 2016.

"In the last few years both manufacturers Boeing and Airbus came out with very beautiful machines that fit our requirements," said Ghaith.

"The development of this new generation of aircraft makes you think faster and grows your appetite."

He said the carrier was looking at both companies' offerings but no decision had been made so far.

Ghaith added that the company was in the process of completing financing arrangements for planes for next year.

"We should be making some announcements soon. Financing comes from some local companies, some regional and mostly international."

Government-owned flydubai started commercial flights in 2009 and competes with regional low-cost carriers such as UAE-based Air Arabia and Kuwait's Jazeera Airways.

On the company's profitability, he said: "We are close to breaking even right now and will make profit next year."

He added that flydubai was considering increasing ticket prices.

"We will do that in the future if fuel prices continue to rise."

Last year, Dubai announced plans to more than double flydubai's capital to 500 million dirhams (USD$136 million).


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