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Plane as can be

Plane as can be

New routes, new planes, new inflight entertainment systems; Kipp thinks FlyDubai is one to watch out for in the coming year.

December 27, 2010 3:02 by

“Budget airlines” is not a phrase you enjoy, particularly when you’re attempting to travel with them. And it’s especially hard to hear if you’ve been used to a lifetime of travelling with Emirates, for example.

For the majority, flying “budget” conjures up images of cramped seating, grumpy flight attendants, dilapidated airplanes and, in our minds at least, turbulent flights (don’t ask why). But when Kipp took a FlyDubai flight out to Kathmandu and back this September, we were surprised to see that not only were the seats as spacious as regular Emirates Economy seats, but the plane was home to some rather friendly flight attendants and even seemed to be intact.

But when we think about it, we shouldn’t have been so surprised, given the number of times FlyDubai has been in the news for its success recently. The business has been especially impressive given its launch in the heart of the recession a year ago.

Most recently FlyDubai has snuck into the business pages for being the first airline to launch the high definition in-flight entertainment system on Boeing 737-800 by Lumexis. Earlier this month Fly Dubai began offering its passengers the option of in flight entertainment (for which they’d be charged, of course). A passenger can watch a film on a FlyDubai flight for Dh25 and a TV show for Dh5 or Dh10 (depending on the length of the show). The new “fibre to the screen” (FTTS) technology from Lumexis is currently available only on the four new Boeing 737-800; though FlyDubai chief Ghaith Al Ghaith says  by the end of next year at least 60 percent of the airline’s aircrafts on longer than four hour flights will be equipped with the system.

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