Above: Newly manufactured Boeing 737-8KN during flight trials last February and delivered to Dubai a week later
Photo: Josh Kaiser / Location: Boeing Field / King County International (BFI / KBFI)
According to Gulf Business:
Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai has announced that it will launch four flights a week to Iran starting August. Flights to Iranian capital Tehran will begin on August 10, while flights to Mashhad will start from August 10.
Flydubai will be the only carrier to offer business class from Dubai to Mashhad. The carrier further plans to expand its network in the Iranian market, it said in a statement.
“Flydubai’s foray into Iran is as much of a coup as it is a huge opportunity,” said Saj Ahmad, aviation analyst at StrategicAero Research.
“Given the inherent cultural and economic trade links that Dubai has with Iran, services to the capital Tehran and also Mashhad will further boost those ties – and with Iranian carriers struggling under the weight of old airplanes and sanctions, this is a market that flydubai can arguably dominate and expand with ease.”
The carrier’s cargo arm will also gain leverage through the move, he said.
The carrier took delivery of three new Boeing 737-800s in July, and now has a fleet of 39 aircraft with more than 100 new Boeing aircraft on order.
It began services to Kandahar in July and Aden at the beginning of August and is set to commence flights to Moscow and Kazakhstan in September, Mumbai in October and to Sarajevo and Zagreb in December.COMMENTARY: Contrary to all the negative reporting concerning Iran's economy, Mashhad is experiencing a construction and religious tourism boom. There are many large-scale tourism and shopping related developments in progress, with no detectable evidence of slowdown (see below). No doubt, the leadership of this new Dubai-based airline seeks to take advantage of these business opportunities, that here in the West go unreported or unconsidered due to sanctions.
Gigantic “Shandiz Holiday and Recreation Complex” taking shape at a fast rate of construction in Mashhad (click to enlarge)