flydubai’s network in Russia to grow to 11 points served by 47 weekly flights

 Dubai | October 25, 2017–

Dubai-based flydubai today announced the start of its new daily flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) from 29 November. This will increase the airline’s frequency to the Russian capital to double daily with the existing service to Vnukovo International Airport (VKO).

flydubai first started operating to Moscow in 2014 and has grown its network in Russia to 11 unique points.  Makhachkala, Ufa and Voronezh being the latest additions with operations commencing in October 2017. Along with these newest points on flydubai’s network the airline operates direct flights to Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow (VKO), Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg.

Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said: “We are excited to be offering our passengers more options to access two different points of the Russian capital. The launch of our new daily flights to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is based on the increase in demand for more affordable and reliable direct links to the UAE and beyond.”

The airline, which recorded a 45% growth in passenger numbers to Russia in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and is the first carrier to operate direct flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport from the UAE. The airport is one of the three airports serving the city of Moscow, along with Domodedovo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport, and is one of the largest airports in Russia.

Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) for flydubai, said: “Russia continues to be a very important market for flydubai. We have been committed to opening up underserved markets and adding frequency based on demand across our network.  Our commitment is demonstrated by the increase of our operations to 11 points and 47 weekly flights to the Russian market. We are also looking forward to increasing our frequency to 52 weekly flights from mid-December which provide our passenger with more convenient timings and options for travel to and from Dubai.”

flydubai operates flights to more than 95 destinations in 44 countries offering passengers from Russia greater opportunity to connect onwards on the flydubai network to popular routes like Male (Maldives), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Zanzibar (Tanzania) via Dubai’s aviation hub. Business Class and WiFi are available on flydubai’s flights to Russia.

Early this year, the UAE Cabinet granted citizens of the Russian Federation entry visa on arrival valid for 30 days for the first time, renewable one time only for another 30 days, which has contributed to the increase in passenger numbers from Russia as per Dubai Airports reports.

Flight Details

Flights between Dubai (DXB) and Sheremetyevo (SVO) will start on 29 November 2017 with flights on sale from 25 October. flydubai’s FZ 917/918 will operate daily between Dubai International, Terminal 2 and Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Business Class return fares will start at AED 5,050 and are inclusive of all taxes and 40kg checked baggage. Economy Class return fares from Dubai to Sheremetyevo will start at AED 1,250 including 7kg hand baggage.

Flights can be booked through flydubai’s website (, Contact Centre in Dubai on (00971) 600 54 44 45, the flydubai travel shops or through our travel partners.

August 28, 2017– flydubai has today announced its Half-Year Results for the 2017 financial year and has reported total revenue of AED 2.5 billion (USD 689 million) an increase of 9.9% compared to the first six months of last year and a loss of AED 142.5 million (USD 38.8 million). Historically, the trend for the second half has been stronger than the first half.

Total revenue increased to AED 2.5 billion (USD 689 million) for the six-month period
Reports loss of AED 142.5 million (USD 38.8 million) for the period ending 30 June 2017
Increase in passenger numbers to 5.4 million during the reporting period; an increase of 10.5%
RPKM grew by 18.9%; ASKM increased by 7.9% compared to the first six months of 2016
Contributed 19.4% to the total growth at Dubai Airports compared to the same period last year
Passenger numbers increased to 5.4 million; an increase of 10.5% compared to the first six months of 2016. The number of passengers carried per departure saw an increase of 13.7% for the same period. The increase in passenger numbers reflects the strength of flydubai’s network connecting previously underserved markets to Dubai. The number of Business Class passengers carried per departure saw an increase of 22% compared to the same period last year.

In addition, flydubai contributed 19.4% to the total growth at Dubai Airports compared to the first half of 2016. During the first six months of 2017, flydubai contributed 12.4% of all traffic in Dubai.

The demand for travel on flydubai remains strong and the airline has seen its overall market share grow. These factors have, however, been offset by the price performance determined by the market. The airline also faced comparatively higher fuel expenses during the reporting period with fuel costs accounting for 24.8% of operating costs compared to 23.5% in the previous reporting period. In addition, the airline added 8 aircraft to its fleet since July 2016.

The closing cash and cash equivalents position including pre-delivery payments for future aircraft deliveries, remained robust at AED 2.1 billion.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said, “the demand for travel from the growing number of our passengers remains strong. We will however continue to manage our cost performance and balance this with our long-term view of the potential for air travel in the region. We know that we need to remain flexible to the market dynamics across our network. We will continue our disciplined approach to increasing capacity whilst pursuing our broader goal of firmly establishing flydubai at the centre of the global travel industry.”

Arbind Kumar, Senior Vice President, Finance of flydubai, said, “during the first six months of this year, we have seen pressure on both yield and cost. We continue to focus our efforts on three key areas: improvement in our cost performance, a broadening of our distribution and optimisation of our network. Knowing that we have faced a similar seasonality and trend in previous years, we will move ahead cautiously but strong in the knowledge that there remains much untapped opportunity.”

Operational performance

Fleet: During the first half of 2017, flydubai took delivery of the last of the Next-Generation Boeing 737- 800 aircraft receiving one aircraft in February and a second aircraft in April. The average age of the fleet is 4.0 years and this underscores flydubai’s strategy to operate a young and modern fleet.

Network growth: flydubai started twice-weekly flights to Sylhet on 15 March 2017 increasing to six flights per week in May. For the first time, flydubai launched flights for the summer season to Batumi in Georgia, Qabala in Azerbaijan and Tivat in Montenegro. Due to the popularity of direct flights to these new holiday destinations services have been extended to October.


The previous investments in product and services are returning results as well as enabling flydubai to retain and attract new passengers. The airline has embraced new technologies with the aim to improve costs through dynamic yield management and using real-time data to enhance the customer journey.

A new model aircraft:
flydubai is the first airline in the region to take delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The airline is set to receive six new aircraft by December 2017 with entry into service during the fourth quarter providing greater flexibility, reliability and efficiency to its fleet.

New routes: flydubai has been operating flights to Russia since 2010 and will further expand its network to 10 destinations. Twice weekly flights from Dubai to Makhachkala and Voronezh will operate from the end of October 2017. In addition, flights from Dubai to Ufa, operating three times a week, will relaunch on 31 October.

A new headquarters office:
The airline is building a new headquarters office located on the Emirates Road and is expected to be available for occupation from 2019. This investment will support the airline’s continued growth.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, looking towards the year ahead, said, “during the next six months we will see the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft bring greater operational efficiency to our fleet, we will open up previously underserved destinations on our network, see more passengers travel with us and continue to invest in the future growth of the airline. There remains much potential for flydubai as part of the UAE’s aviation hub and a key driver of the sustainable development of the trade and tourism industry.”

Dubai | April 5, 2017– Dubai-based carrier flydubai and the German aircraft seat manufacturer Recaro Aircraft Seating today announced at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg the continuation of their long-standing partnership.

The carrier will equip its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2017, with Recaro Aircraft Seating’s global bestseller CL3710. The seat will reflect the maturity of the airline as well as the growing network it serves, ranging from Prague in the west to Bangkok on the east. The order builds on the successful relationship between flydubai and Recaro Aircraft Seating. Since 2008, flydubai has equipped its current fleet of 58 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s with premium seats from the German seat manufacturer.

“Opting for Recaro Aircraft Seating when we launched our airline in 2008 has proved to be the right choice. The seats with their revolutionary design have substantially reduced the weight of our aircraft, resulting in lower fuel costs. We pass these savings on to our passengers through lower fares without compromising comfort on board,” said flydubai’s Chief Executive Officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith, about the new order. “We are excited to continue our collaboration with Recaro Aircraft Seating on the CL3710 seats for our new aircraft. They will enhance the overall experience on board with added comfort, functionality and aesthetics, that complement our newly redesigned cabin interior.”

The CL3710 economy class seat reflects Recaro Aircraft Seating’s Ingenious Design with the perfect combination of ergonomics, function and aesthetics. Weighing less than 12 kilograms, it is one of the lightest seats in its class and stands out with its numerous comfortable features. For example, the six-way adjustable, ergonomic headrest has the ability to tilt horizontally, offering passengers outstanding comfort through optimal neck support.

“flydubai and Recaro have been trusting and successful partners for many years. We are extremely pleased about the opportunity to continue our partnership with this major order for CL3710 economy class seats. We are proud to contribute to the success of flydubai’s continuously expanding fleet,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating.

Los Angeles, CA | April 26, 2016– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., (Nasdaq:ENT) (“GEE”) a worldwide provider of media content, connectivity systems and operations solutions to the travel industry, and Dubai-based flydubai today announced the launch of inflight connectivity and entertainment on flydubai Boeing 737 aircraft, utilizing GEE’s Airconnect Ku IFE&C system.

Deployment of the Airconnect system on flydubai’s fleet is underway, providing high-speed connectivity and live television to passenger’s personal devices inflight. In addition to connectivity and broadcast television, GEE provides flydubai with media content for viewing on the airline’s seatback inflight entertainment system, as well as electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions to support airline operations.

“This launch marks a major milestone in delivering high-speed satellite connectivity aboard our flights and brings technical capabilities that will continue to differentiate the airline from its peers,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai. “GEE’s total end-to-end solution allows us to enhance our award-winning IFE&C strategy and bring a new level of service to our passengers.”

“GEE has enabled flydubai to take control of the total inflight passenger experience like never before, starting with integrated inflight entertainment, connectivity, digital media solutions and rounding it out with real-time data operations solutions,” said Dave Davis, Chief Executive Officer, GEE. “We’re looking forward to tailoring additional solutions that will continue to enhance the flydubai passenger experience in the months and years ahead.”

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | February 15, 2016– flydubai recently launched its new website, offering an enhanced browsing experience to inspire customers to explore its network of 89 destinations.

The airline’s new website, which is available in English, Arabic, and Russian, has been redesigned to offer a fresh look and feel and many new features. When visiting, customers are now offered a more personalised online experience by receiving customised content based on their location and previous interaction with the site and a layout that automatically adjusts depending on the device being used. In addition, new destination guides and travel tips provide inspiration for planning the perfect trip, holiday or last-minute getaway to one of flydubai’s hidden gems such as Bratislava, Tbilisi and Zanzibar.

Commenting on the new website Ramesh Venkat, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at flydubai, said; “We’re excited to see the launch of our newly designed website. The recent relocation of our reservation system from Orlando to Dubai alongside the redesign of our website confirms our commitment to providing our customers with the best possible experience when navigating”

Visit today and flydubai to where you want to be.

Irvine, CA | June 29, 2015– The Lumexis Corporation today announced that Dubai-based airline flydubai will continue to use the award-winning Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) In-Flight Entertainment system for its follow-on order of 11 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft on order for 2016 and 2017. The announcement extends the strong partnership which began in 2010 as flydubai became Lumexis’s launch customer.

“flydubai continues to invest in the latest technology to ensure that our passengers are getting the best onboard experience,” said Daniel Kerrison, flydubai’s Vice President Inflight Product. “Being the launch customer for the FTTS system, we were very happy with what it had to offer and we look forward to rolling out the new 4th generation of the system which will enter service with flydubai from May 2016.”

The award-winning Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) In-Flight Entertainment system has been part of the flydubai experience since 2010, providing passengers with over 1,300 hours of television shows, audio, games and movie titles in Arabic, English, Hindi and Russian. Selected for its light weight and cutting-edge technology, the efficient HD system with the unique FTTS fiber optic network is half the cost and weight of earlier generation, copper-based systems. As a result, the airline could achieve lower fuel burn while generating ancillary revenue.

“The Lumexis team is delighted to be continuing our partnership with flydubai,” said Lou Sharkey, Lumexis President and Chief Operating Officer. “With their flexible service and revolutionary High Definition IFE system, flydubai has consistently set new benchmarks for inflight customer experience”.

A reader sent us this:

Old News – “Boeing CEO Jim McNerney apologized Friday in a company-wide message for telling analysts this week that he won’t retire after turning 65 next month because “the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering.” Despite having reached the company’s customary retirement age, analysts say, McNerney has privately expressed his wish to remain at the helm until Boeing’s 100th anniversary in 2016.”

New News – “Boeing Co. said Chief Executive Jim McNerney will step aside next week after a tumultuous decade at the aerospace giant and hand over the top job to one of his lieutenants. Mr. Muilenburg’s appointment also returns an engineer to the company’s top management position. Mr. Muilenburg holds a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington. The outgoing Mr. McNerney was often criticized for not having a classical technical background when running the aerospace giant. Mr. McNerney holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a master’s of business administration form Harvard University. Tuesday’s appointment, however, came sooner than many analysts had expected. Boeing fell 1 percent to $143.01 at 4:59 p.m. in New York in extended trading.”

Newest News –  “Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group said that Boeing’s “toxic labor relations” are worse now than any he’s seen in 26 years in the industry. And he’s concerned about “an erosion of Boeing’s core capabilities” if Puget Sound-area engineers leave the company when it transfers work to new design centers around the country. “This is an engineering company. That’s been forgotten,” said Aboulafia. “A ruthless focus on cost is not a very good long-term vision for an engineering company.”

The SITA Airline IT Trends Survey is available now. The connected passenger is a reality. But are airlines focused on the best areas to meet their demands? This year’s Airline IT Trends Survey focuses on the key needs of the connected passenger and outlines how airline IT deployments fit with the latest passenger trends.
The survey provides key insights into how airlines are making life easier by:

• Enabling a wider range of passenger choice through personalization
• Easing passenger anxiety at journey pinch points
• Keeping passengers up to date with the latest information
• Empowering staff with mobile devices

For the first time the survey asks airlines about their intentions for the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s still early days, but the IoT is fast becoming a reality and airlines are already planning for the dawn of this game-changing technology across the Air Transport Industry.

You can get it here

Looking for the good article on the Paris Air Show about Airbus/Boeing? Look no further

Today, Global Eagle sent out the following press release… but we had a few questions: Global Eagle Entertainment and flydubai Sign Groundbreaking Agreement to Deploy Fully-Integrated Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFE&C) System

Los Angeles, CA | June 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (“GEE”) (Nasdaq:ENT), a market-leading media and connectivity provider to the travel industry, today announced that it will equip Dubai-based airline flydubai’s current and future fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with GEE’s broadband AIRCONNECT satellite connectivity system. The comprehensive agreement provides flydubai with a unique offering and technical capabilities that will continue to differentiate the airline from its peers. The deployment on flydubai will be the industry’s first to provide a bundled solution of inflight connectivity, in-seat IFE content and a provision for operations data, all from a single provider.  GEE will also introduce a new capability, which updates the media content on the in-seat IFE system already in place on flydubai aircraft via the AIRCONNECT connectivity system. This is expected to be the industry’s first use of broadband connectivity to routinely update the media content on embedded IFE systems. flydubai is already a GEE customer for inflight media content, and this new agreement greatly expands the relationship between the two companies.  GEE’s integrated IFE&C solution will offer wifi-enabled internet connectivity, an extensive library of stored content, such as local and international movies and TV shows, and other media delivered to passenger’s handheld devices. GEE will support the generation of ancillary revenue through the sale of advertising and sponsorships, and will manage billing and payment processing. “This is a ground-breaking opportunity for both companies and will provide flydubai with the industry’s broadest and most integrated inflight entertainment and connectivity solution.  GEE is excited to partner with one of the world’s most innovative airlines,” commented Dave Davis, CEO of GEE. “We’re eager to help flydubai further enhance its award-winning IFE&C strategy.” “GEE’s solution, which we are deploying across our fleet, will bring a new level of connectivity to our passengers,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai. “With an integrated inflight entertainment, connectivity and digital media system, we are able to provide the highest standards and latest innovations of inflight services to our passengers and enhance their onboard experience.” So here are our our IFExpress questions:

  • Does every flydubai 737 (existing and future) get equipped with GEE’s AIRCONNECT (Row 44’s satellite connectivity)?
  • They are calling it “a bundled solution of inflight connectivity, in-seat IFE content and a provision for operations data, all from a single provider.” (what about Lumexis?)
  • Will flydubai use AIRCONNECT to routinely update the media content on the embedded IFE system? (Remember the size of media loads, isn’t that going to be expensive?)
  • GEE’s integrated IFE&C solution includes Wi-Fi-enabled internet connectivity and an extensive library of stored content, such as local and international movies and TV shows, and other media delivered to passenger’s handheld devices… isn’t that going to be expensive as well?
  • GEE is going to help flydubai generate revenue via sales of ads, sponsorships — who also will manage billing and payment?

If we get some answers, we will keep you posted.

SITA OnAir’s Tracker just announced 3 new carriers – Singapore, Royal Brunei, and Norwegian Air Shuttle  – Read about it here

Now Available: TripCase Apple Watch Travel App.  With the TripCase Apple Watch travel app, you’ll be able to see your upcoming trip items on your wrist.  You can use handoff to easily open the TripCase app on your iPhone, use their convenient “Remember This Place” feature, or even immediately access the new TripTime widget, right on your watch. You can also view a map of your destination, and they’ve hidden a few other great features in the experience for you to discover, as well. The TripCase Apple Watch travel app now includes Glance support! To access, simply swipe to the Glances section on your watch and you’ll be able to see information about your next upcoming trip item. Tap the watch to load the full TripCase Apple Watch app to view more details about your trip.

And don’t worry – you’ll also continue to receive the real-time travel notifications that you already expect on your iPhone, delivered straight to your Apple Watch.

… Of course, you do have an Apple Watch right?!

With the additional flights to Alexandria, Bujumbura, Juba and Zanzibar, airline will operate 78 flights a week to Africa
Dubai, UAE | March 10, 2015– Dubai-based flydubai today announced that it is increasing the frequency of flights on some of its routes in Africa for the summer schedule. With the additional flights, flydubai will operate a total of 78 flights a week to 12 points in East and North Africa.
From 29 March, flydubai will increase its service from five flights a week to daily to the capital of South Sudan, Juba and three flights a week instead of two to Bujumbura, Burundi.
Zanzibar, which has seen excellent demand since the launch of the route in October 2014, will be served with four flights a week instead of two. While Alexandria in Egypt will also see flydubai increase its flights from two to three a day from June 2015.
“We are delighted to offer more flights to Africa,” commented Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai. “We were the first UAE carrier to serve Bujumbura, Juba and Zanzibar. We have seen strong demand for travel across our network in Africa, and we look forward to welcoming more passengers on board our flights.”
In line with growing trade and tourism ties between the UAE and East and North Africa, flydubai launched six routes to the region in 2014, doubling its network, and becoming the third biggest carrier of its category there and the first to offer a Business Class option to Dubai from destinations like Juba. .
“Whether travelling for leisure or business between Dubai and Africa, we are confident that our passengers will continue to enjoy our Business Class, award-winning In-Flight Entertainment and the ability to connect on our growing network and beyond,” said Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent and Africa).
Commencing in September 2009, Djibouti was flydubai’s first destination in Africa. The airline today has a network of 12 points in the market including Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Khartoum, Kigali and Port Sudan.

  • Carrier takes delivery of its 44th aircraft
  • Average age of fleet is 3.1 years
  • Carrier takes delivery of 6 more aircraft by end of 2015

Dubai | February 5, 2015– flydubai recently took delivery of its 44th Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The vision of the UAE Government together with its focus on the development of world-class infrastructure has enabled flydubai to grow its fleet, one of the youngest in the skies today, with an average of 3.1 years.

This first delivery in 2015 will see flydubai realise its original business plan as it will receive its 50th aircraft later this year. The continued investment in the aviation sector in the UAE will ensure that flydubai is well positioned to take delivery of its next order of 111 new aircraft which will be used to further enhance connectivity to and from Dubai over the next few years.

Notes to editor
flydubai’s current fleet Size:
44 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft from an order of 50 at the Farnborough Airshow in 2008.
The first order of 50 aircraft was valued at USD 4 billion at current list price.
flydubai has received 8 Next-Generation Boeing aircraft in 2014 and the first aircraft for 2015.
The remaining aircraft from its 2008 order will be fulfilled by 2015 .

flydubai’s latest aircraft order:
75 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 11 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft ordered at the Dubai Airshow 2013.
flydubai retains purchase rights for an additional 25 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The order for 75 737 MAX 8s, 11 Next-Generation 737-800s valued at USD 8.8 billion at current list price.
With the 25 optional, it can go up to USD 11.4 billion.
The first aircraft, the 11 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s from this order, will be delivered between 2016 and 2017.
Deliveries of the first Boeing 737 MAX will commence in the second half of 2017 and continue until the end of 2023.

About flydubai:
Dubai-based flydubai strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has:

• Created a network of 89 destinations, with 23 new routes launched in 2014.
• Opened up 56 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.
• Built up a fleet of 44 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will take delivery of more than 100 Boeing aircraft by the end of 2023.

In addition, flydubai’s agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets.
For more information about flydubai services, please visit

  • Airline wins two awards for its IFE system at the Inflight Regional Awards 2014

Dubai, UAE | February 6, 2014– flydubai is proud to have won two awards for its IFE system at the Inflight Regional Awards 2014. The winners of the awards were announced on 05 February 2014 as part of the Aircraft Interiors Middle East exhibition. flydubai took home awards for “Middle East content innovation” and “Best airline IFEC provider for the Middle East”.

These awards were judged by an independent expert panel, who evaluated the award submissions based on a number of criteria, including relevance to the region, innovation and variety of choice.

  • Commitment includes up to 100 737MAXs, 11 Next-Generation 737-800s
  • Largest ever Boeing single-aisle airplane purchase in Middle East
  • Airline continues expansion with all-Boeing fleet

Dubai, UAE | November 17, 2013/PRNewswire/– Boeing [NYSE: BA] and flydubai today announced a commitment for up to 100 737 MAX 8 airplanes and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow.

The commitment from the airline of the emirate of Dubai, valued at $11.4 billion at list prices (including orders and purchase rights), is the largest ever Boeing single-aisle airplane purchase in the Middle East. The investment continues flydubai’s legacy operating an all-Boeing 737 fleet.
“flydubai is pleased to continue its partnership with Boeing. We believe that the commitment for up to 111 Boeing 737 aircraft will give flydubai one of the best performing aircraft available in the single-aisle market,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai. “This will ensure that flydubai is well positioned to continue to set new standards in aviation and support the further economic development of the United Arab Emirates.”

“We are extremely proud of the confidence that flydubai continues to place in our products operating an all-Boeing fleet,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We look forward to continue strengthening our partnership and seeing the Next-Generation 737-800 and subsequently the 737 MAX play a central role in flydubai’s rapid expansion plans.”

The 737 MAX will build on the Next-Generation 737’s popularity and reliability while delivering customers unsurpassed fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 8 is expected to be 8 percent per-seat more fuel efficient than the future competition.

Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,600 orders to date.

flydubai placed its first order for 50 Next-Generation 737-800s in 2008. The airline took delivery of its first airplane in 2009 and was the first airline in the world to debut the Boeing Sky Interior, an enhanced onboard experience. To date, flydubai has taken delivery of 33 Next-Generation 737-800s.

In the past two years, flydubai has more than doubled the number of destinations it flies to and has around 1,200 weekly flights. flydubai carried 5.1 million passengers in 2012 and has become the second largest carrier, by passenger numbers, operating out of Dubai International.

– NewspaperDirect’s PressReader app gives flydubai passengers access to dozens of international newspaper titles while aboard

Vancouver, British Columbia | February 14, 2013/PRNewswire/- DTI Solutions, the in-flight solutions specialist, has announced a breakthrough in airline entertainment by partnering with a leading provider of enhanced full-content digital replica publications, NewspaperDirect, to provide daily updated newspapers on board Dubai’s low-cost airline flydubai.

Digital eReading solutions may be ubiquitous on the ground, however the complexities of the in-flight environment, such as compatibility with in-flight entertainment hardware and the logistics of frequently updating content, have made it a challenge to install these forms of entertainment in the skies.

From January 2013, flydubai passengers will have access to more than 45 newspaper titles on flights through DTI Solutions’ industry leading in-flight software solution: eReader. The software, which allows passengers to browse through reading material on in-flight entertainment systems equipped with touch-screen technology, integrates PressReader by NewspaperDirect, a media reading application that offers full-content, digital replicas of more than 2,200 newspapers and magazine publications from 100 countries in 56 languages.

Patrick Préfontaine, president of DTI Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to have helped flydubai achieve this historic project. We truly believe that eReader solutions are strategic for airlines to provide passengers with relevant and engaging content, while benefiting from the noted advantages of digital content such as weight and cost reductions compared to paper-based media onboard.”

flydubai’s Chief Executive Officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith , explains: “Daily news consumption trends have shifted since the introduction of smartphones and personal electronic devices, and passengers now expect to be able to read their favorite newspapers electronically on board. Offering daily newspaper updates digitally is a real logistical challenge for airlines, and flydubai is proud to be the first to provide this enhanced passenger experience.”

Alex Kroogman , CEO of NewspaperDirect adds: “flydubai has taken on-board digital media consumption to the next level with daily updates from our extensive catalog of newspaper and magazine titles. We are delighted to have helped turn the concept of in-flight daily digital newspaper updates into a reality for the airline industry.”

This week, we feature the Lumexis Single-Aisle Solution in our Hot Topic and the image above is the Lumexis team members who are in town this week. While we often picture hardware, we thought it time for IFExpress give a tip o’the hat to the folks who brought the product to life. Additionally, be sure to check out this link for a terrific hardware, installation, and block diagram slide show from Rich Salter first!

As the second in the “Single-Aisle Solution” feature, Lumexis hit the narrow-body market with kickoff customer flydubai, a story we covered earlier. If you aren’t too clear on “narrow-body aircraft” check out the link. Further, companies like Bombardier are holding up the lower end of the (60 to 150 seat) single-aisle market. The bigger Boeing 737-MAX and Airbus A320neo definitely do not have an exclusive on the market either. In fact, a large number of the growing single-aisle market purchases will occur in China and it would be a mistake to rule out the future Chinese 168 – 198 seat contender, the Comac C919. To get the ball rolling, we asked the affable and well known CEO of Lumexis, Doug Cline, a few loaded questions which we must say, he answered with great candor:

Q: Tell our readers a little about the Lumexis Single Aisle offering, screen size, weight, capability, network etc.

“Our single-aisle offering is the same as our regional jet and the same as our twin-aisle except that the latter has Passenger Service System interfaces (reading light and flight attendant call), widescreen, HD monitors up to 23 inches (so far . . .) and touchscreen controllers. We’ve been flying with flydubai for over a year and have accumulated more than 7 million seat available hours with 99.5% availability. I would point out an advantage of our fiber optic system is that a B747 would have the same basic architecture as a narrow-body in that they both take advantage of the same redundant network path. This is very helpful in installation and crew training.”

Q: Which airlines and airplanes are you installed on and why did they choose Lumexis?

Cline: “Narrow-body launch customer: flydubai, now 13 Boeing Sky Interior, 189 seat airplanes in daily revenue service; 31 more deliveries averaging about 1 per month for installations taking less than three days downtime.

Wide-body launch customer: Transaero (Russia’s second largest airline), first B777-300 delivered in early December, three more this year; followed by 4 B747- 400s (522 seats!) in Q1 2012; we expect to continue to work through their entire fleet over the next several years. Two additional unannounced customers have A320 and A330 fleets being installed in 2012 and 2013.

These leading edge airlines chose FTTS® due to highest system capability, lightest weight per seat of any system now flying (or on the horizon), highest reliability, customer maintainable user software and resultant lowest-possible cost-of-ownership.”

Q: What single-aisle configurations seem popular now (inseat video, overhead monitors, seatback video, etc)?

Cline: “Uniformly, full aircraft, widescreen HD AVOD at every seat; supplemental overhead monitors for maps and broadcast videos as required. Our display compliment already includes original 8.9” seatback units, continuing with the 15.4″ as well as the gigantic 23″ for Transaero. We recently added a 10.1″ and a 12.1” into the offerings.”

Q: Lumexis and other IFE hardware vendors are not standard OEM offerings as BFE or SFE – they are not delivered on the aircraft, but rather, installed later. Why? Should you be?

Cline: “With some 98% of the existing in-seat IFEC being controlled by only two suppliers, it is an obvious challenge to get airlines to break away from the security of buying the legacy product and risking obviously improved, but new, product (and supplier) until it’s proven in airline service. Understandably slow to begin, now our new customer sign-ups are accelerating rapidly as a result of the very visible successes of flydubai and Transaero.  Moreover, we will soon gain line-fit with the major OEMs as our current customers already have many B737-800s, B747-8s and A380s (700 seats!) on order and want to receive their aircraft with FTTS fully installed.

Newcomers like Lumexis represent a risk to existing, “stable” production lines – You can understand their angst – but after both narrow-body and wide-body in-service successes with different carriers, we are able to much more aggressively pursue line-fit on new aircraft!”

Q: What kind of per seat system weight does Lumexis claim?

Cline: “Flydubai’s full coach installation – including every nut, bolt screw, bracket, every mm of copper power wiring, all LRUs and fiber – is about 2.3 kg per seat – a little over 5 pounds.  Quite simply, this is the weight of the aircraft when it delivered minus the weight when it arrived. (I am being so specific as most competitors like to cite only the weight of their boxes, which is very misleading as to true cost of carriage implications.)  FTTS is proven handsdown to be the absolutely lightest system flying – today or on the horizon.”

Q: What are the installed airlines saying about Lumexis?

Cline: “Our customers – from passengers through flight attendants, maintenance people, content and marketing managers, all the way up to senior management – uniformly love our product, our people and our support. Uniform appreciation of the reliable delivery of high definition movies, unmatched quick GUI response, and simplicity of interface are also passenger pleasing features that get high marks.”

Q: Does Lumexis have an overhead solution and how about inseat (with arm) display?

Cline: “We do not have a standalone overhead product, but many options for supplemental overhead, very large, HD monitors. In-arm mounting is easy and available.”

Q: Reliability is a good issue with single- aisles that see upward of 6 emplaning-deplaning cycles (or more) per day…How’s the Lumexis hardware doing?

Cline: “We’ve been flying with flydubai for over a year (four emplaning-deplaning cycles per day) and have accumulated more than 7 million seat available hours with 99.5% availability. (As reported independently to Boeing by the COO of flydubai.) Not too shabby, and an honest, “not-doctored-with-contract-documentation-rules” number!”

Q: We can’t resist – does Lumexis have a Wi-Fi solution in work?

Cline: “It might be nearer than you’d think . . .”

On a sad note, IFExpress acknowledges the passing of a longtime IFEC member. Airborne camera innovator and IFE industry veteran Tom Henderson, 68, passed away on November 14th after a long battle against cancer.

Tom entered the inflight entertainment world in 1980 when he joined EECO (the “E” in “B/E”) as Director of Marketing for the Air Transport Products division. In 1988 Tom founded Airborne CCTV, which started from a systems design sketched on the back of a restaurant placemat in Irvine, CA. Tom took Airborne CCTV and led the development of the first successful airborne camera systems for commercial and business aviation. Airborne CCTV eventually became part of Thales Inflight in 1999. In recent years Tom was involved with developing other avionics and high-technology products.

An inventor at heart, Tom held several patents for his ideas. He was also an accomplished award-winning woodworker having created many beautiful hand-made chairs and other furnishings. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

Sometimes we love our work… and this is one of those stories. Covering companies like Lumexis is one for the story books because they are the “IFE Mouse that Roared.” For at least 5 years now, we have been writing about Rich Salter Jr. and Doug Cline and their dream to develop a lighter weight, higher bandwidth IFE system based on fiber optic connectivity and we could not be happier for them. IFExpress covered their escapades from development boxes to show floor rumors and at this year’s AIX in Hamburg, it looks like they won all the marbles: first customer and Crystal Cabin Award. Ah, life is good.

Their first customer, flydubai, is a low cost Arab Emirates airline offering low cost fares to-and-from Dubai with only one-way tickets that are tax inclusive. All extra services are separate and passengers know exactly what they get for their money… nice touch! Pictured in the story is the CEO of flydubai and Doug Cline, President Lumexis. We talked with Mr. Ghaith Al Ghaith, airline CEO and he told us that their 44 B737-800’s will be post delivery modified in the US and that each seat will have a Lumexis display that acts as an entertainment portal with credit card swipe capability. Obviously, their revenue generation model is part of the airline operating network and plays into the airline financial modeling. With routes as long as 4.5 hours, the airline has a perfect product to interface with their customers. Snacks, food, duty free all will be ordered through the Lumexis system, easing crew work load and further automating the aircraft as part of the airline network. Think of it as an onboard accountant. The airline CEO told us that they chose Lumexis because the system was simple and powerful, yet light-weight. We were surprised to find out that the system weight boiled down to 4.4 pounds per seat and is a very impressive number that we heard from the airline and Lumexis alike. Installation ease and maintenance were also mentioned as features, probably because the airline sees value in quick turn-arounds and overnight maintenance. First delivery is in October of 2010 – Stay Tuned.

Also, we note that the Aircraft Interiors Crystal Cabin IFEC Award went to Lumexis and their fiber optic entertainment system and they are quite proud, as you can imagine. The award is for innovative aircraft cabin products, and the prize in the Entertainment and Communication category was won by Lumexis Corporation for its Fiber-To-The-Screen™ system, as the first fully fiber-optics based In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system. It was cited that the system eliminates the seat electronics box and half the other boxes required by legacy systems, and thereby reduces the weight and cost of ownership. Huge bandwidth is provided by the fiber network to each seat, so that future functionality can be added over the life of the aircraft.

iPad Hoopla Update: Re last week’s IFExpress article – Here is what we have discovered to further round out the Jetstar/iPad story – Jetstar is purchasing the iPads directly from Apple. Their Content Services Provider, Stellar Inflight, commissioned Bluebox to repurpose the devices for IFE. The rental price is purported to be A$10, US$8.40.