April 23, 2018 / 1:17 PM / 4 months ago

Flydubai sees longer routes with Emirates partnership, new jets

DUBAI (Reuters) - Flydubai expects to offer more destinations of more than six hours flying time from its Dubai hub, aided by new planes and a partnership with Emirates, which has the same owner.

The Middle East airline has traditionally flown shorter routes but this week said it would start flights to Helsinki in October, one of the few destinations more than six hours away.

The airline, which is adding Boeing 737 MAX jets that have a longer range than its existing 737 fleet, says its average flying time is three hours and 20 minutes with a handful of flights of six hours or more, such as Bratislava and Sarajevo.

“There will definitely be more” longer flights, flydubai Chief Executive Ghaith al-Ghaith told Reuters in Dubai at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition, adding that flydubai would work closely with Emirates. Both are Dubai government owned.

Flydubai has taken delivery so far of six of the 250 737 MAX aircraft it has on order.

Over 400,000 passengers used a codeshare agreement that covers 90 flights between the two airlines from November to March, Emirates said in a statement.

Flydubai and Emirates started developing closer commercial ties last year.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair

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