Interview: Ghaith Al Ghaith discusses flydubai Cargo
With the launch of a cargo division earlier this year, flydubai will provide a vital link to supply chain operations across the region, explains CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.
What prompted flydubai to launch dedicated cargo operations in 2012?
Since our launch in June 2009, flydubai has pioneered a number of initiatives in the Middle East aviation sector and cargo is another example of our rapid expansion. flydubai Cargo was launched in January this year to support the airline’s goal of making the transportation of goods and people across the region simple, accessible and affordable. It is unusual for a low-cost carrier to launch a cargo division, but it was a natural step for flydubai as such initiatives have set us apart and ensured we continue to lead the way in low-cost aviation, while also supporting Dubai’s position as a world-class business and logistics hub.
What makes flydubai Cargo unique in comparison to other operators?
Our flight frequency is a major selling point. We have several flights a day to destinations such as Doha and Kuwait, plus 55 flights a week to Saudi Arabia, all of which offer greater choice and ensure timely delivery of shipments. Along with great service at affordable rates, we also have an exemplary on-time record and transporting cargo is no different. The team has put a number of security processes in place to protect the safety of passengers and crew, as well as the ground handlers moving cargo, which include not carrying dangerous goods and following all standard operating procedures outlined by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
How has flydubai’s cargo division progressed since its initial launch?
So far we are pleased with the progression of the division and are confident flydubai Cargo will contribute to our continued growth throughout 2012. Of course, flydubai Cargo is still in its infancy and therefore still a relatively small operation compared to other cargo companies around the world, but we do have ambitious expansion plans moving forward to help more people and companies take advantage of our affordable yet convenient service.
Will Dubai’s status as a logistics hub support your cargo growth?
The Middle East has historically served as a crossroads for Africa, Asia and Europe, and with Dubai’s position as a logistics hub, its position is enviable. The city handles approximately 70% of the air cargo traffic for the Middle East with many goods flowing between Africa and Asia passing through this region, as well as between Europe and Asia. As a result, we have been able to take advantage of the already excellent cargo facilities and infrastructure that exist in Dubai, which has enabled our operation to get off to a very healthy start. When you add in the fact that a lot of the companies we work with are based in Dubai Airport Freezone, flydubai Cargo has enjoyed a smooth start to operations.
flydubai Cargo initially expected to carry 1500 tonnes each month. Has this target being achieved?
flydubai Cargo is still within its infancy and like any company it takes time to build the business, but we are very optimistic of achieving our target, based on the results achieved to date. A number of our stations are performing well, with particularly strong demand in terms of auto parts travelling from Dubai to countries in the former CIS, handicrafts from Kathmandu and fruit and vegetables from across the GCC. The future of flydubai and flydubai Cargo is incredibly bright and I am excited by what lies ahead in the years to come.