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,
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.