The inaugural flight, FZ221, departed Dubai Terminal 2 at 0700hrs, and landed in Najaf International Airport at 0840hrs local time. The return flight, FZ222, departed at 0940hrs, arriving in Dubai at 1250hrs. The flight marks the second new Iraqi destination for flydubai this month, following the start of flights to the capital, Baghdad, 10 days ago.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai's CEO, said: "The new service reflects our strategy to link Dubai with underserved airports, making it more convenient for inbound and outbound passengers and we believe that this service will strengthen the already very strong relations between our two countries."
The Iraqi Government has allocated $40 billion this year for development projects covering infrastructure, electricity, education and health. Telecoms is another rapidly expanding sector - the first subsea cable was recently installed, paving the way for increased broadband connectivity across the country.
In an effort to further boost relations between Iraq and GCC countries such as the UAE, officials are in discussions to host the next Arab Summit in Baghdad this March.
The new route is the 48th destination to which flydubai has started operations across the GCC, Middle East, Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia, CIS and the fringes of Europe.
Flights to Najaf will operate three times a week on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 29 January 2012. FZ221 is scheduled to depart Dubai Terminal 2 at 0700hrs, landing in Najaf International Airport at 0840hrs local time. The return flight, FZ222, departs at 0940hrs, arriving in Dubai at 1250hrs. One way fares from Dubai to Najaf start at AED 920, with fares from Najaf to Dubai starting at $225.
Fares include one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 7kg and one small laptop bag or hand bag plus 20kg checked baggage. A seat with extra legroom costs AED100.
Flights between Dubai and Najaf can be purchased from flydubai's website (www.flydubai.com), its call centre (+971 4231 1000) and through travel partners.