Adding these destinations to flydubai's network, just days after its third anniversary, further cements the airline's position as the Middle East's number one carrier servicing this region. Since the launch of the first flight to Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2009, the airline has gone on to start operations to a number of key destinations in the region including: Armenia; Georgia; Kyrgyzstan; Russia; Serbia; Turkmenistan; and Ukraine and is the only scheduled operator flying from Dubai to Belgrade, Donetsk and Kharkiv.
flydubai's new services to Bucharest and Skopje, meanwhile, will allow travellers from the UAE to take advantage of low-cost fares to another two emerging destinations in Central & Eastern Europe. The three-times weekly flights to Bucharest will begin on Monday 1 October 2012 with the twice-weekly service to Skopje commencing on Thursday 18 October 2012.
flydubai's CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: "Our two latest routes illustrate flydubai's commitment to expanding connectivity from the Middle East to new destinations that have historically been underserved. This offers more choice to our customers, increasing international travel options and avenues for trade. Furthermore, our base in Dubai provides the sizeable Romanian and Macedonian expatriate populations around the globe with affordable links to their home nations."
In parallel to flydubai's expanding presence in Central & Eastern Europe, visitor numbers to Dubai from the region continue to grow. Latest figures from Dubai Airports revealed an increase of more than 35% during the first four months of 2012 in comparison to the same period last year. With trade and investment in the region expected to rise following a number of initiatives by the UAE, including the opening of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's international representative office in Azerbaijan at the end of 2012, flydubai's growing network will provide the UAE business community with reliable links to explore further commercial opportunities in the region.
"As economies within Central & Eastern Europe gather momentum and destinations gain more prominence, the breadth of flydubai's reach within the region will be instrumental in promoting trade ties and encouraging travel," added Al Ghaith.
Located on the banks of the Dâmbovita in Romania, Bucharest is the tenth largest city in the EU by population. It is the centre of the Romanian economy and industry, accounting for almost 23% of the country's GDP in 2010. It is an introduction for travellers to Romania's picturesque medieval towns in Transylvania, the majestic Carapathian Mountains and the protected wetlands of the Danube Delta.
Skopje, a regional favourite among history-buffs and art-lovers, is the Republic of Macedonia's capital and largest city. Inhabited since 4000 BC, Skopje is transforming into a regional economic powerhouse, hosting more than 64,000 companies across a number of industries. It has also embarked on the "Skopje 2014" project - a major drive to raise the standard of its infrastructure and improve the look of the city.
Commencing on 1 October 2012, flights to Bucharest will initially operate three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. FZ797 is scheduled to depart Dubai Terminal 2 at 0915hrs, landing in Henri Coandă International Airport (Bucharest Otopeni International Airport) at 1330hrs local time. The return flight, FZ798, departs at 1415hrs, arriving in Dubai at 2000hrs local time.
From 28 October 2012, flydubai will increase the frequency of flights to four a week adding a Thursday service. FZ797 is scheduled to depart Dubai Terminal 2 at 0915hrs, landing in Henri Coandă International Airport (Bucharest Otopeni International Airport) at 1330hrs local time. The return flight, FZ798, departs at 1415hrs, arriving in Dubai at 2000hrs local time.
Return fares from Dubai to Bucharest start at AED 2,140.
Flights to Skopje will operate twice a week - Thursdays and Mondays - from 18 October 2012. FZ791 is scheduled to depart Dubai Terminal 2 at 0915hrs, landing in Skopje Alexander the Great Airport at 1240hrs local time. The return flight, FZ792, departs at 1325hrs, arriving in Dubai at 2035hrs local time.
Return fares from Dubai to Skopje start at AED 2,380.
flydubai has a simple model where customers only pay for services they want to receive. Fares are inclusive of all taxes plus one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 7kg and one small laptop bag or handbag, in addition to 20kg checked baggage. A seat with extra legroom costs AED100. Once on board, passengers can choose from a range of optional extras, including in-flight entertainment packages priced from AED 10 or select from the varied menu of refreshments and Duty Free items.
flydubai operates from Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.
For more information, visit flydubai.com, which also has details of the carrier's car rental and travel insurance services.
Flights between Dubai and Bucharest and Skopje can be purchased from flydubai's website (flydubai.com), its call centre in the UAE (+971 4231 1000), as well as through travel partners and flydubai Travel Shops.