FlyDubai has hired the former chief of the defunct US-based Skybus Airlines to oversee plans for the mid-2009 launch of Dubai’s new budget carrier.

Joining as chief operating officer, Kenneth Gile will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the airline. He will have specific responsibility for strategic planning, in-flight services, ground operations, flight operations, maintenance and engineering, as well as acting as the director of operations, Fly Dubai said.

Gile is the first senior executive to join the carrier since Gaith Al Gaith,

Fly Dubai

a former Emirates man, was named chief executive officer of Fly Dubai in March.

“This is our first appointment and an important one. Now that we have made this key appointment, we can move forward with the work of getting our airline ready to begin commercial o

perations in mid 2009,” Al Gaith said in a statement.

He said Gile’s “experience will be invaluable in getting Fly Dubai off the ground.”

Gile, who was president and chief operating officer for four years at Skybus, an

American low cost carrier, said he was excited about working with the Dubai carrier “in such an early stage in its development.”

Fly Dubai plans to start operations with 12 destinations but eventually a

ims to build a network of 70 destinations.

“The Fly Dubai business model is strong and we are working hard to assemble

an unbeatable product and a top class team of individuals. I am confident Fly Dubai is going

to be an extremely successful airline and I am proud to be a part of it,” Gile said.

The airline has ordered 50 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and signed

a lease agreement for four similar planes. The company is looking to have a financing deal later this year for the first planes.

“We are talking to some banks in the country and there has even been interest from banks abroad to finance this company. It is all about timing and what is the best offer. We will not have to make a decision before November with regard to financing,” Al Gaith told Gulf News recently.


The government of Dubai announced in March that it will set up a low-cost carrier. The move is aimed at capitalising on the region’s growing budget travel segment and serving a huge expatriate population.

FlyDubai plans to serve destinations in the Gulf, South Asia and neighbouring regions. It is being assisted by Emirates in its formation.

The airline this month ordered 50 Boeing 737-800 aircraft in a deal worth about $3.74 billion. It is also acquiring four planes on lease. It plans to begin operations before the second half of 2009.

If Dubai had not taken the initiative, someone else would have launched such an airline, chief executive officer Gaith Al Gaith tells Gulf News in an exclusive interview. The airline is not part of Emirates Group.

Al Gaith worked for Emirates for 21 years before taking up his current position. He was appointed executive vice-president for commercial operations at Emirates in 1995.

Born in 1963, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from University of Arizona in the US.

Gulf News: What progress has FlyDubai made so far and when exactly would you launch it?

Al Gaith: We do not have a date for the launch yet because we would not know the date of first aircraft deliveries until three months before their actual delivery.

We are currently working on the nitty-gritty of training our crew. We are still confident that we would be in operation before the second half of 2009 as originally announced.

The aircraft order is a major achievement. We had to evaluate two different aircraft and negotiate. We did that in an efficient time and achieved satisfactory results. We have formalised a team from Emirates that will oversee the start of the airline.

We are now at a stage where we can recruit people. That means we already have an organisational structure, and salaries and packages have been worked out. We have analysed what our business model is going to be, we are sourcing the right IT system that will allow us to be successful and achieve our mission.

We are working on our product offers. We want to create something simple and acceptable that the customer will find different from what other airlines are offering.

Dubai: FlyDubai, the new low-cost airline announced by Dubai Government earlier this year, rounded off its first trip to the Farnborough Air Show with orders totalling $750 million for engines and winglets.

In the first part of the deal, flydubai signed with CFM International, a joint venture between Snecma and GE, for 100 CFM56-7B engines to power the 50 Boeing 737-800/900s ordered on the first day of the air show.

The engines, valued at $700 million at list prices, are the Tech Insertion configuration, which provide operators with lower fuel consumption, lower emissions and lower maintenance costs. The engine’s one per cent improvement in fuel consumption lowers CO2 emissions, ensuring a reduction of 200 tonnes per aircraft per year.

In a separate deal, flydubai also signed an agreement worth $50 million for blended winglets from Aviation Partners Boeing.

The blended winglets, which are for the 737-800s, add an extra 1.4 metres to the wingspan of the aircraft and offer a range of environmental benefits, including reduced fuel consumption and lower noise emissions.

Farnborough: FlyDubai, the new low cost airline from Dubai announced on Monday a historic order for 54 Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft from Boeing.


The order is valued at approximately US$4 billion at the current list prices and marks the biggest single order by a Gulf-based low cost carrier for the Boeing aircraft.

The deal comprises a firm order for 50 aircrafts from Boeing and a separate leasing agreement with Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management for a further four Boeing 737-800s.

His Highness Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of FlyDubai, who signed the deal, said: “I am delighted to sign this announcement for 54 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s on behalf of FlyDubai.

“This aircraft is ideally suited to our core business, which is providing affordable, efficient and flexible options for people wishing to travel to and from Dubai.”

The announcement was made at Farnborough Air Show during a ceremony hosted by Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, Jim McNerney.

FlyDubai was formed by the Dubai Government in March 2008, and will offer customers flexible travel options that are simple, effective and good value for money.

The 737-800 is a single aisle aircraft configured with 189 Economy Class seats. It has a flying range of 4.5 hours, which will give FlyDubai access to an estimated 2 billion potential customers.


Dubai: Dubai’s aviation landscape will receive a strong boost next year when the new budget airline FlyDubai takes off, as Emirates is becoming expensive for many budget passengers who have been shying away from full service airlines and gradually shifting to Sharjah-based Air Arabia.

It will also help strengthen competition out of Dubai which is being served by Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways and Air India Express. Jazeera uses Dubai as its second hub.

By then, a second airport, Al Maktoum International, will become operational 40 km from Dubai International, in Jebel Ali. FlyDubai will initially focus on regional flights within the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and surrounding countries. Its operations will be entirely separate from Emirates airline and group.

“FlyDubai’s operations will potentially cover an area of some two billion inhabitants. It will support Dubai’s commercial and tourism sectors by serving a new set of travellers, and providing them with affordable air links to popular, high-demand destinations. A lot of groundwork has been done thus far, and I’m pleased to note that FlyDubai is on track to launch its first flights by mid-2009,” said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, who is also chairman of FlyDubai.


Earlier, the Dubai government announced the new low-cost airline – the second budget carrier of the UAE after Air Arabia.

Gaith Al Gaith, Chief Executive of FlyDubai, said, “We are recruiting for key positions, evaluating aircraft options and routes, working out our pricing and distribution strategy, and putting in place the structure and operational resources for the business.”

FARNBOROUGH, England (AFP) — New low-cost airline FlyDubai has ordered 54 Boeing single-aisle 737 passenger jets in deals worth a total of 4.0 billion dollars (2.52 billion euros), it announced at the Farnborough Airshow on Monday.

FlyDubai said on the first day of the key industry event that it had made a firm order for 50 of Boeing’s so-called next-generation 737-800 fuel-efficient passenger jets for 3.74 billion dollars at list price.

FlyDubai had also agreed to lease four Boeing 737-800s from Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management.

“I am delighted to sign this announcement for 54 next-generation Boeing 737-800s on behalf of FlyDubai,” the group’s chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement.

The mid-range 737-800 can transport up to 189 passengers and FlyDubai will take delivery of its planes between 2009 and 2015.

Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, formed FlyDubai in March.

“This (Boeing) announcement is a major milestone in the development of FlyDubai,” the airline’s chief executive Ghaith al Ghaith said on Monday.

“Now that we have our aircraft on order, we can move on to the next stage of our development and look forward with anticipation to the start of our scheduled flights in the middle of next year.”

For oil-producing Gulf states, such as the United Arab Emirates, rocketing fuel prices are presenting unexpected revenues with which to snap up new aircraft.

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has said it is likely to announce orders of between 50 and 100 aircraft at Farnborough.

“Our relationship with the UAE is something we truly value and have worked to strengthen over time,” Boeing chairman and chief executive Jim McNerney said on Monday.

Canadian planemaker Bombardier stole the limelight ahead of this year’s Farnborough show by announcing Sunday that it planned to launch its eco-friendly CSeries single-aisle passenger jet in 2013 — a plane it promised would “deliver dramatic energy savings.”

The week-long Farnborough Airshow is a traditional battle ground for planemakers, especially Boeing and Airbus, for securing orders of new aircraft.

The biennial event was attracting the usual mix of industry executives and plane enthusiasts for deal-making and the witnessing of flypasts by civil and military jets.


flydubai is a start-up low-cost airline formed by the government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[2] Their first flights are due to start in mid-2009. flydubai plans to offer competitive ticket prices, along with flexible hotel, car rental, insurance, and visa services to Dubai. flydubai will be launched with the help of Emirates Airlines, although it will not be a part of the airline.

On July 14, 2008, flydubai signed a USD 4 billion firm order at the Farnborough Air Show with Boeing for 50 Boeing 737-800‘s, with the option to change the order to longer range Boeing 737-900ER‘s later on.[1] A leasing agreement was also signed with Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management for four more Boeing 737-800s for delivery in 2009.[1]