flydubai launches Skopje services
Dubai-based carrier starts first direct route between the UAE and Republic of Macedonia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 22 October 2012: flydubai’s inaugural flight between Dubai and Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, touched down today, marking the innovative low-cost airline’s 15th passenger route in Central & Eastern Europe.
Flight, FZ791, departed Dubai Terminal 2 at 0915hrs today, landing at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport at 1240hrs local time where flydubai’s Chief Executive Officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith, was greeted by the Minister for Transport and Communication, Mile Janakieski, and the Chief Operating Officer of TAV Holding, Murat Ornekol. Following a water canon salute on touchdown, Al Ghaith participated in a traditional bread and salt reception before the delegation hosted a press conference at the airport terminal.
flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “More than 40 per cent of our route development this year has taken place in Central & Eastern Europe and with the addition of Skopje, we are connecting the UAE to another underserved market. This illustrates our commitment to this region, while also opening up opportunities for cooperation and collaboration with different nations.”
According to the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Trade, the volume of goods traded between the UAE and Macedonia increased by 80% in 2011 compared to the previous year, with textiles among its most in demand industries.
Mile Janakieski, Minister for Transport and Communication of the Republic of Macedonia, stated: “Low-cost airlines such as flydubai offer passengers affordable travel options and the regions in which they operate often experience rapid economic development. The inclusion of Skopje as a destination into flydubai’s network has great significance as these flights will not only connect Skopje to Dubai, but indirectly to more than 50 destinations around the world where the airline operates and beyond.”
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the total contribution of travel and tourism to Macedonia’s GDP is expected to rise by 5% a year over the next 10 years. Tourists are attracted to Macedonia’s history, rich culture and sights including the 1,500-year-old Kale Fortress in Skopje and Ohrid Lake in the south west of the country.
“The launch of flights between Skopje and Dubai will have a positive effect on the Macedonian diaspora living in Australia. The time on board and number of connecting flights to different airports will dramatically decrease and Macedonians living in Australia will be able to arrive in Skopje faster and easier. With this launch Macedonian citizens and those of neighbouring countries will be able to fly directly to the UAE from Skopje’s Alexander the Great Airport,” said Murat Ornekol, Chief Operating Officer of TAV Holding, the company that manages Macedonian airports.
Skopje is the second addition to flydubai’s CIS and Central & Eastern European network this month, following the start of flights to Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, on 1 October 2012. The airline now serves 15 destinations including: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and from today, the Republic of Macedonia.
Flights to Skopje operate twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Flight FZ791 departs Dubai Terminal 2 at 0915hrs, landing at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport at 1240hrs local time. The return flight, FZ792, departs at 1325hrs, arriving in Dubai at 2035hrs local time.
Return fares from Dubai to Skopje start at AED 2,380. All fares are inclusive of all taxes plus 20 kg checked baggage, one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 7 kg and one small laptop bag or handbag. A seat with extra legroom costs AED100. Once on board, passengers can choose from a range of optional extras, including in-flight entertainment packages priced from AED 10 or select from the varied menu of refreshments and Duty Free items.
Flights between Dubai and Skopje can be purchased from flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), its call centre in the UAE (+9714 231 1000), as well as through travel partners and flydubai Travel Shops. Further information and details of the carrier’s car rental and travel insurance services can also be found on flydubai.com.
Established in March 2008, flydubai is Dubai’s first low-cost airline and the fastest growing start-up airline in the world. Since commencing operations in June 2009, the airline has established an operational route network of more than 50 destinations across the GCC, Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Asia and Central & Eastern Europe and has built up fleet of 26 aircraft. Owned by the Government of Dubai, the low-cost carrier supports the city’s commercial and tourism sectors by serving all travellers and providing them with affordable air links to a range of destinations. The airline is dedicated to quality service and comfortable travel, lowering costs by optimising operational efficiencies and offering the passenger more choice. flydubai Cargo started operations on 1 January 2012 and operates within the flydubai passenger network as well as to 25 offline stations.
For more information about flydubai services, please visit flydubai.com.