flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “We identified Iraq as one of our principal markets in 2010 with the launch of services to Erbil and Sulaimaniyah. This is in line with our commitment to continually identify emerging and underserved destinations. We hope that our expanding network will further promote travel between the UAE and Iraq, not only for the business community but also for the thousands of Iraqi expatriates residing in the UAE.”
Iraq’s ongoing reconstruction work and the development of sectors such as energy, construction, retail, and agriculture indicate that the main demand for the new route will be business traffic. Besides its commercial interests, Iraq is also home to a number of significant historical and religious sites.
Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: “Flydubai's continued expansion in Iraq brings in the oil and commerce rich city of Basra, served usually by full service carriers. Low fares will ensure that the carrier will grow its presence in the south of the country and given locals greater freedom to move away from traditional operators to sample services on a much cheaper and trouble free basis.
“With Iraq still devoid of its own national airline, flydubai is stamping its expansive authority into other non-GCC countries where demand is robust and underserved.”
Ahmad concluded: Flydubai's five destinations in Iraq puts it ahead of many of its rivals and we're likely to see services grow with increased frequencies as it takes delivery of more new 737-800s.”