|Flydubai heading to Zagreb and Sarajevo this winter|
Low cost airline Flydubai is set to launch flights to both Zagreb and Sarajevo this winter season. According to the “Aviokarta” portal, flights from Dubai to the capitals of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will be inaugurated at the start of the 2014/15 winter season in November, pending government approval. Services to Zagreb will run three times per week while flights to Sarajevo are planned to operate twice per week. Flydubai has previously announced plans to fly to both cities, however, these fell through on both occasions. The new flights will mark the first time Zagreb and Sarajevo have been linked with a scheduled service to the largest city in the United Arab Emirates.
Flydubai first announced plans to fly to Sarajevo from April 2013. At the time, the low cost airline said, “Flydubai is doing good business and we are planning on launching two weekly flights from Sarajevo”. However, only two months prior to the service launch the airline shelved its planned flights, explaining that crew duty times would have been exceeded on the return leg to Dubai. Thus, this would require a mandatory rest period for the crew in Sarajevo, which would increase costs for the no frills airline and make the route unprofitable from the outset. In addition, the airline also considered launching flights to Zagreb in 2012 but decided against the move due to the same reasons. It is unclear how the airline will bypass these technical obstacles this time around.
Flydubai has a solid presence in the former Yugoslavia as it maintains flights to both Belgrade and Skopje. During the peak of the summer season, the low cost airline will operate up to five weekly flights to the Serbian capital and a further two weekly flights to Skopje. Recent rumours that the airline’s service to the Macedonian capital will be suspended have been unfounded as Flydubai recently scheduled and put on sale flights to Skopje throughout the 2014/15 winter season. On the other hand, it will maintain three weekly flights to Belgrade over the coming winter.
Flydubai operates a fleet of 35 Boeing 737-800 jets to 68 destinations. Despite its low cost model, the airline offers a dedicated business class cabin on select routes. Flydubai is expected to put tickets for its planned new flights to Zagreb and Sarajevo on sale once it is granted all necessary permits.