Flydubai posts strong growth on Serbian market


Hybrid carrier Flydubai has registered strong passenger growth on its flights between its hub in the United Arab Emirates and Belgrade in 2018. The airline saw its figures increase 35% on services from Dubai to the Serbian capital in 2018. At the same time, its numbers grew 56% in Bulgaria, 45% in Romania, 42% in Russia and 2% in Ukraine. The carrier did not report its growth margins for other markets in the former Yugoslavia to which it operates to including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro. The airline previously said, "Following our codeshare partnership with Emirates, we have seen an increase in demand on our flights to Belgrade".

In March Flydubai introduced its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on the Belgrade route, which has slightly less capacity than the previously operated B737-800. Furthermore, this winter season the carrier reduced its operations to Belgrade from daily to five weekly. Due to the upcoming southern runway repair at Dubai Airport, between April 16 and May 30, Flydubai will slash its operations across its network. Flights to Belgrade will be maintained four times per week, increasing to five weekly from June 1 and daily from June 30.

Flydubai shifted its Belgrade departures and arrivals in Dubai from its dedicated Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 used by Emirates as of last December, allowing for more seamless transfer options. The Serbian capital was selected along with another nine destinations which were moved at the time. This summer, the airline will face additional competition from its local competitors on the Belgrade service, with Etihad Airways to operate double daily flights from Abu Dhabi, while the Sharjah-based Air Arabia will launch four weekly operations to the Serbian capital. Overall, Flydubai registered a loss of 43.5 million US dollars last year. Its performance in 2018 was impacted by growing fuel costs, rising interest rates and unfavourable currency exchange movements.




Comments

  1. Shows how empty they were the year before.

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    1. I'm sure you know how empty they were.

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    2. The two times I've flown with them last year - April and October they were full.

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    3. I have heard FZ had serious problems with LF to ZAG during winter months

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    4. Their B738s have 189 seats so 35% means they had around 60 passengers more. Also don't forget that they were more or less adding a weekly frequency per year. So they were adding more and more seats to the market.

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    5. yes 60 passengers more on less flights assuming they fly 100% full now only shows how empty they were last year. And I do not see how they would habe 100% LF now.

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    6. Yes, they have been flying empty for 6 years now. Too bad you never used one of their flights. You would be their only passenger.

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    7. @An.09.20
      I READ HERE as well about FZ serious problems in ZAG with LF, and then I had flight ZAG-DXB on Jan 12, and DXB-ZAG on Feb 1, and there were 90 passengers in economy and 4 in premium to Dubai, and 7 premium and ECONOMY FULL UP TO THE LAST SEAT on the flight back to Zagreb. I know two flights are not enough to make any conclusions, however I doubt the stories about FZ flying empty to ZAG are true. If it was like that, they would have simply stop flying to ZAG. And it's not what I saw when flying.

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    8. Just because they are not full doesn't mean they are empty maybe their loads in ZAG are just ok.

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    9. FZ B738 has 189 seats.
      It flew with 50% LF on the day you took the flight.
      If they have half of the flights in winter that are full and half of them that have 50% LF (as in your case) it is still terrible LF for the company as FZ is.

      They need to have LF of 90% to keep some route profitable.

      Not to mention that the code-shares with EK are even less profitable for FZ than P2P routes meanining 50% LF where not all passengers are P2P is actually a disaster.

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    10. Yes but route finances must have improved since FZ took over the route. EK was probably suffering in winter even more.

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    11. There is a reason Zagreb was not included in this report but even Ukraine which had 2% growth.

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    12. ^^ Maybe because Flydubai started flights to Zagreb in December. What would be the point of including it in the report?

      Also Flydubai probably had infinite growth on the Croatian market since they launched Dubrovnik in 2018 but they were not flying to Croatia in 2017 at all. So what were they supposed to compare it to? 0 passengers in 2017?

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    13. What is the reason why all other FZ destinations weren't mentioned?

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    14. Well, there is the EK performance. Oups, they're not there in winter.

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    15. Like they are at other exYU airports.

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    16. Yes, other ex-YU airports were realistic enough to know what kind of business they need so there were no abrupt changes.

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    17. What are you taking about? What abrupt changes?

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    18. One day you see EK then the next you don't. Look at SJJ, they could easily handle an EK A380 but in stead they are realistic to they go for frequencies. :)

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    19. Lol. What are you on, boi?
      You better call CEO of Emirates and explain him how to run a company and how to redistribute the planes.

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    20. I actually did, hence why there is FZ in ZAG. :)

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    21. Talking of exciting changes, I just noticed SU is sending its A321 from SVO to BEG. It's impressive the amount of passengers they carry even with 3 daily flights. Guys if they keep it up like this maybe in summer we could see a widebody! That said seems like there is some issue is SVO, JU that was scheduled to take off at 17.00 still didn't leave and neither did the SU that leaves at 18.45. :O

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    22. @An.13.34
      Yes, there is the reason why ZAG is not included. I saw it as passenger on FZ flights. ZAG is NOT LISTED AT ALL as FZ destination, shown on their maps and IFE system. It is not listed because it is EMIRATES destination. I was continuing the flights to Indonesia and New Zealand, and unlike on FZ flights, ZAG was on all maps and info on EK flights. Flydubai is just operating on behalf of Emirates during low winter season. EK is back in ZAG in one month, but people here usually just look for any reason to spit on everything, be it JU, JP, YM, OU, BEG, ZAG, SPU, SJJ, SKP, PRN, LJU, MBX, BNX, INI...........

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  2. It's a good result. I'm surprised they decreased ops overall.

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    1. They also decreased Skopje.

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    2. I guess too much seats to the East.

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    3. Doesn't seem to be impacting others with EY and QR offering more seats then before. QR will fly A321 from the start of the summer season. In fact they are already deploying A321 on many days in winter.

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    4. Considering EY and QR are both full fare airlines yet are just marginally more expensive than FZ, it does not surprise me that more people are choosing these two over FZ.

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  3. The route is maturing quite nicely before it gets upgraded to Emirates. There seems to be a wide flow of passengers using Arab airlines in Belgrade.

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    1. If Wizz Air were able to launch BEG-DWC it would give FZ a run for its money.

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    2. I have heard of people going to Budapest to catch this flight.

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    3. DWC is a nightmare of an airport.

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    4. Highly doubt it, Wizz Air didn't give anyone a run for their money in BEG.

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    5. Unlikely that they will put EK aircraft on the route.
      FZ is far more fitting to our market and compete better with EY, TK and QR on price.

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  4. I think this route will get upgraded to Emirates in 2020, 4 times per week.

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    1. I can see EK eventually flying seasonally to ZAG, BEG and SJJ.

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    2. Very possible especially taking in consideration that Vinci took over Belgrade airport

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    3. And the other day they announced they are starting Porto which is a Vinci airport. We will see.

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    4. It will happen sooner or later unless CAD somehow blocks them so they can protect their darling Etihad.

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    5. CAD can't do that, as Serbia and UAE have open-skies agreement in place

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    6. Other than being some sort of status symbol I don't see what people would gain with Emirates in Belgrade. Apart frombeing more expensive than the existing FZ/EK combination for transfers, FZ already flies to Terminal 3 and you get free food and luggage if you are transferring onto an Emirates flight, so I don't see the benefits.

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    7. More seats on the market, more cargo potential and so on. There is obvious more potential when a larger planes flies.

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    8. Porto is twice as busy airport compared with BEG and most importantly it has a lot of cargo traffic from Portugal and northwestern Spain.

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    9. Can a B773 even park at BEG C gates?

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    10. Of course it can. B777 have parked at C gates before. In the 80s Qatnas' B747 parked at C6 regularly. A few years ago the B747 of the Emir of Abu Dhabi also parked at C6.

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    11. Nice, would they have to block three parking positions? B773 has massive wings, much larger than A330.

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    12. Yes they would be unable to use the gate next to it but they usually don't when they park a heavy because they use two jet bridges for larger aircraft anyway.

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    13. You guys might enjoy these
      Qantas at BEG https://i.imgur.com/I7QVYgo.jpg
      UAE government plane at BEG https://i.imgur.com/gtTNEXd.jpg

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    14. Nice pics! I suppose the UAE plane occupied C5, C6 and C7?

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    15. Thanks for the pics :)

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  5. Wasn’t there reduced capacity to Abu Dhabi last year too? Could be related.

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    1. Etihad had more flights but Air Serbia did not operate its flights.

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    2. Well like they said it themselves, numbers on FZ were positively impacted by the EK codeshare.

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  6. The ex-Yu market is completely oversaturated by seats to the Middle East.

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    1. Sure.
      That is a reason Air Arabia introduced Belgrade

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    2. I'm quite interested to see how Air Arabia will work out.

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    3. Especially BiH.

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    4. I don't see them surviving past winter, their network is tiny and their brand is zero.

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    5. I think it will be a seasonal route but we will see. It doesn't help that they have had 0 advertising in BEG.

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    6. They think they will make it
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/01/air-arabia-eyes-belgrade-success.html

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    7. They have no chance against Flydubai.

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  7. They will eventually merge with Emirates completely.

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  8. @Nemjee do you by any chance have the total passenger numbers FZ had to BEG?

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  9. They should increase frequencies if they want to compete effectively and remain relevant.

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  10. Flydubai is a surprisingly good airline. Glad to see them performing well in BEG.

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    1. Especially on the B737MAX.

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    2. I mean they have a very good new product on the max.

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    3. My experienced is kind of mixed with them. They are nothing special. But I'm glad they are now flying from T3 to BEG at least.

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  11. It would be nice to see a widebody from one of these GCC airlines in BEG.

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    1. There is a rumor that one Gulf airline will be sending a widebody very soon. But let's keep it at that for now :)

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    2. Why "keep it at that for now" Anon 10:03?
      Will the CIA come to your home and arrest you for writing anonymously which airline will be sending a widebody to BEG?

      SMFH

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    3. Simply because it's still in the negotiating phase and might not come to fruition. And yeah this airline does act like CIA ;) if all goes to plan change of equipment will be filed very soon.

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    4. There is no anonymity in internet

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    5. Hahah, Emirates

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    6. Qatar is considering deploying 787-8 to BEG which would add approximately 70 seats... but they're not doing it for the pax capacity but rather for cargo. Since the blockade, they have started importing far more from our part of the world - meat, perishables etc... in addition, they are very keen to grab a slice of the growing cargo segment our of BEG and this is impossible with the A321.

      EK wise, my feeling is until the A330neo arrives, very small chance of it stepping in, unless they decide to put BEG on the 77L (777-200LR). Etihad wise, at best an upgrade to A321 twice daily.

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    7. Nice, do you think it will happen?

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    8. Won't happen, QR downgraded BEG to 3 weekly A320 and 4 weekly A321 in summer. Capacity is going down, not up.

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    9. The poster said its not for passenger capacity but for cargo. Lets see.

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    10. It should be easiest for Etihad, not Qatar, to upgrade to widebody service to BEG. They already have twice daily A320, upgrading to daily A330 or daily A330 + daily A320 should be straightforward for them.

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    11. QR even downgraded VIE evening flights seasonally during winter that have a very good connectivity at DOH during the night to A320 from 787

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    12. Yeah QR just increased VIE from 2 to 3 daily flights. ;)

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  12. FlyDubai is doing really well in Belgrade. With Etihad and Qatar I thought they would be the first to be run out but their combination with Emirates plus a lot of P2P passengers have made them popular.

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    1. They certainly seemed like the weakest link but not only did they keep their O&D but they also attracted a lot of transfers.

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  13. So this summer we are going to have the following to MENA:

    IST 21
    AUH 14
    TLV 9
    DXB 7
    DOH 7
    BEY 5
    SAW 4
    SHJ 4
    CAI 2

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    1. Since when is IST considered to be in the MENA region?

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    2. We can also add LCA to the list with 9 weekly. Crazy really.

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    3. The last time I checked Turkey wasn't really Europe.

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    4. Since it belongs to Turkey

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Middle_Eastern_countries_by_population

      Can't wait to see Purger's spreadsheets and diagrams about it comparing ex-Yu countries with flights to MENA

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    5. Will Aviolet flying to LCA in addition to JU and W6?
      What is the breakdown of those 9 weekly flights?
      Thanks for all info!

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    6. I think he is referring to Wizz Air's flights to Larnaca.

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    7. BEG-LCA

      JU x7
      W6 x2

      No Aviolet charters to Cyprus, there never were. Aviogenex used to fly some back in 2012 or 2011.

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    8. Thank you Nemjee, I had missed the news that JU will be going daily to Cyprus over the Summer season.

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    9. If we are talking about MENA, you should also include Tunis Air to the list, as well as Air Cairo.

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    10. Anon 10.54

      Larnaca is always daily in summer, it's in winter that flights go down to 1,2 or 3 weekly. Already from next month JU is increasing LCA to 3 weekly which is great.

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  14. Excellent news for Belgrade Airport. Hopefully numbers will continue to grow in 2019 and they keep BEG at daily next winter.

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  15. Is this growth related to the Emirates code share that started last year? Sure they will grow if you could further fly via the massive Emirates network..

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  16. Actually, 2018 was a really good year for Serbian tourism with a total of 1.710.514 foreign tourists (+14%). All this growth helped boost passenger numbers.
    For example thanks to Belavia for the first time ever Serbia started getting Belorussian tourists. Chinese arrivals remain impressive, in December there were 3.895 (+39%) while in the whole year it was 102.351 or 98% more. I remember when some people on here mocked us when we said more than 100.000 Chinese will visit Serbia. This number explains why Aeroflot introduced third daily and why Qatar sends its A321. I am sure FZ also profited from this.

    Unfortunately Turkish arrivals have stagnated and I blame CAD for it as they are restricting TK from adding more flights. Hopefully KK pulls its act together and increases flights next winter as well. Serbia should not be victim of their incompetence.

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    1. can you give us a link with all the stats for 2018 or post here the top 10-15? :) Thank you!
      Is the duration of stay increasing? This is for me the more important metric.

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    2. Turkey numbers suffer because of huge loss of value of its currency. It is getting difficult for them to have city breaks abroad, though Belgrade is still considered affordable.

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    3. Anon 10.19

      It's not a massive drop, maybe 3% per month or so.

      Anon 10.14

      Sure, it's the official website of the bureau for statistics:
      http://www.stat.gov.rs/sr-Cyrl/oblasti/ugostiteljstvo-i-turizam/turizam

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    4. Feb 2017
      1 EUR = 3.78 TRY

      Aug 2018
      1 EUR = 7.85 EUR

      Feb 2019
      1 EUR = 6.04 TRY

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  17. If visas to UAE are finally lifted numbers on FZ would grow even more.

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    1. Visa exemption protocol was signed in September 2018 nut it is not yet ratified.

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  18. Is there any possibility flydubai may increase capacity by using the 737MAX9 to BEG insted of the MAX8?

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    1. There are only 10 extra seats on their MAX9 compared to MAX8.

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  19. With runway reconstruction in Dubai and fewer flights they will loose their competitive advantage this year.

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