FlyDubai cools on move to Al-Maktoum

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Middle Eastern budget carrier FlyDubai does not expect to transfer its operation out of Dubai International Airport in the near future, despite original plans to establish itself at the new Al-Maktoum International Airport.

FlyDubai had intended to operate from Al-Maktoum but last year switched to the city's main airport as the new base's opening was postponed.

Al-Maktoum opened to cargo flights earlier this year.

But FlyDubai chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith tells ATI that the airline has no plans to transfer to the new airport, even if clearance is granted for passenger flights.

"We see ourselves at [Dubai Airport] for the foreseeable future," he says. "It's the perfect airport in the perfect place."

He says that Dubai's Terminal 2 has no boarding bridges, and its location is convenient for aircraft taxiing.

FlyDubai operates to 22 destinations from the United Arab Emirates, and two more are being introduced with the opening of Russian routes to Ekaterinburg and Samara.

Al Ghaith says that the airline is looking to expand locally, indicating that destinations in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Indian subcontinent are likely candidates.

He adds that the carrier will eventually fly to a few other points in Europe - it already serves Istanbul - but says the region is not a primary focus.