flydubai celebrates 14 years of flying

a flydubai aircraft receives a water cannon salute.
Photo Credit: flydubai

On the 1st of June 2023, the Dubai-based carrier flydubai officially marked 14 years of commercial flight operations. 

The maiden commercial flight

On the 1st of June 2009, the airline welcomed its first-ever batch of passengers on an inaugural flight to Beirut, Lebanon. The flight number flight was FZ157 from Dubai to Beirut.

Since then, the airline has been a regional workhorse based out of Dubai, making travel closer than ever before.

FlyDubai has also been complementing its mother company Emirates, to fly to routes with lower demands and to secondary and regional cities, further strengthening Dubai as a world-renowned hub. 

Praise and Excitement 

The airline’s 14th anniversary was recognised by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, who stated with excitement:

“Flydubai has been at the forefront of opening previously underserved destinations from Dubai; facilitating flows of trade and tourism, and strengthening the cultural and social ties between people from different countries.”


“flydubai has proven its ability to adapt and take decisive actions, even during challenging times, thanks to its operational efficiencies and robust business model. This was evident in how the airline navigated the challenges during the pandemic.”

“All of which was achieved capitalizing on its internal resources. We congratulate flydubai on its fourteenth anniversary and recognize the hard work and dedication of the entire team for making this success possible.”

“We look forward to even more success in the future in line with the vision of the UAE’s Leadership,” His Highness concluded.

From humble beginnings

The airline started off small and lean and has come very far since its humble beginnings. Over 14 years of flying, the airline has reached amazing targets and milestones. One of which is covering a network of 120 destinations, with new destinations and Italy and Thailand slated this year.

Secondly, the airline opened more than 75 new routes which do not have air connectivity or links to and from Dubai. Thirdly, its workforce to almost 5,000 skilled professionals with more than 136 nationalities representing the airline.

A group of leased 737 aircraft painted in FlyDubai airline colours.
Photo Credit: FlyDubai

Fourthly, the fleet has grown to 78 Boeing 737 aircraft, and finally, the airline has transported more than 90 million passengers. 

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “14 years ago, our first flight took off with the commitment to make travel more accessible, supporting Dubai’s economic and tourism goals while keeping passengers at the core of everything we do.”

“I am proud of the growth we have achieved along the way, we have evolved to adapt to the changing market and customer needs, we have played a vital role Dubai’s aviation success story and we continue to invest in further improving our operational efficiencies and customer experience and challenge conventions of travel in the region.”

He furthered: “Our recent record financial performance, the continued investment in our colleagues, innovation in our product, and the ongoing recruitment drive are key indicators of how well-positioned we are to reach new heights.”

“As I look ahead, I am excited about the growth we are on track to achieve again this year. Every new milestone we achieve is only possible with the continued hard work and commitment of everyone at flydubai,” added al Ghaith.

flydubai has grown from a small carrier to complement Dubai as a true crossroads regarding air connectivity. Emirates allowed Dubai to be connected to all continents, but the airline is what brings Dubai closer and grounded to the region itself.

By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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