(Updates with additional CEO comments starting in third paragraph.)
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- FlyDubai, the Dubai government-owned low-cost carrier, is “very close” to break even and aims to make a profit next year, as it starts flights to underserved markets, Chief Executive Officer Ghaith al-Ghaith said.
The carrier is planning to introduce two more destinations this year and expects to take delivery of one aircraft in December, the executive told reporters in Dubai today.
FlyDubai identified “at least 12” destinations in Russia it can potentially serve and is negotiating increasing its allocated quota with the Russian government, the CEO said. The airline increased destinations to the country in July to four, the maximum currently allowed, and is able to increase frequencies on existing flights, al-Ghaith said.
“There is a big potential for business in Russia,” said al-Ghaith. “We are looking at all the former soviet Union bloc.”
The airline has a fleet of 20 Boeing Co. 737-800s with a total order for 50 of the planes from the U.S. maker. FlyDubai has no plans to place aircraft orders at the Dubai Airshow in November, the CEO said.
The airline, which started operations in June 2009 as the emirate’s first low-cost carrier, flies to 44 destinations. It competes with Air Arabia PJSC, Gulf Air and Jazeera Airways KSC in the Gulf Arab region.
--Editors: Peter Branton, James Kraus
To contact the reporter on this story: Tamara Walid in Abu Dhabi at firstname.lastname@example.org
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