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Hoping to fly high
Ghaith Al Ghaith, the CEO of Dubai’s first low-cost airline FlyDubai refuses to share details about the carrier’s India route, but insists the airline’s plans are on track.
August 27, 2009 1:50 by Aarti Nagraj
Kipp: It’s been a very short time since you launched. But do you think you have been successful so far?
Al Ghaith: So far we have succeeded in transforming ourselves from a theory to an airline. It’s too early to say that we are successful, but we are pleased with what we have achieved so far and we are working very hard to keep it up and continuously develop and be consistent.
Kipp: You have had some negative publicity because of the cancellation of the Indian flights and the delay of a flight to Beirut. You promised all of them free tickets. Are these just teething problems?
Al Ghaith: I think this is a logistic business that we are in. We are moving things and people. You have to always think that there will be something that will go wrong to the point that you have nothing to do with it. You can’t control it and when something wrong like that happens, you have to be able to stand up and say that okay, this is not adequate, this is what I will do to reward or to give back to the people who were mishandled in this case. And this is normal.
Yes, we expected to have teething problems like that. You don’t hope for these things but what can you do, you know, you manage. I hope in the end of the day people appreciate what we have done, and will travel with us more in the future.
Kipp: Finally where do you expect to see the airline five years from now? How do you think you will stand out from Air Arabia?
Al Ghaith: Hopefully we will be an airline that is very successful. You have to be special to be successful. They [Air Arabia] can be successful and we can be successful. We want to be a very successful airline. That’s all.
We will have achieved most of what we said we will achieve, and we will be good to our clients and to our country.
August 27, 2009 | Cover Story