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Will Air Arabia and flydubai ever adopt Ryanair’s pay-to-pee policy?

Will Air Arabia and flydubai ever adopt Ryanair’s pay-to-pee policy?

By international standards, the Gulf’s ‘budget’ airlines are actually quite plush. But can it last?

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April 7, 2010 4:54 by



If you fly Air Arabia, flydubai or Jazeera Airways, you probably don’t know how lucky you are. For the Gulf’s ‘budget’ airlines aren’t really ‘budget’ at all, at least not by international standards.

Take the notorious Ryanair. As was reported today, the Irish airline has confirmed plans to charge customers £1 to use the toilet. That’s about AED5.5 a pop, or rather, piddle.

That’s on top of Ryanair’s other levies, which include surcharges for checking in luggage ($23, or $30 during the summer holidays), online check-in and credit card payments.

Can you imagine the Gulf’s ‘budget’ airlines getting away with this? Not likely. Currently, the service provided by Air Arabia, flydubai or Jazeera Airways is arguably closer to Europe’s full-price, short-haul airlines than it is to the cheapo ones. Paying to pee isn’t even on the agenda.

But it’s early days. Flydubai, for instance, only commenced services in June last year. Competition in the Gulf’s fledgling budget airline sector can only increase. And as flight costs come down, who knows what additional charges may creep in…



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