flydubai Plans Romania Expansion This November

flydubai will add a second Romanian destination to its departures board from November, beginning flights to Cluj-Napoca on November 3. The twice-weekly flights will supplement flydubai’s daily services to Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport.

flydubai will begin flights to Cluj-Napoca on November 3. Photo: flydubai

Twice weekly flydubai flights to Cluj-Napoca from November 3

Every Wednesday and Saturday from November 3, a flydubai Boeing 737 operating as FZ767 will push back from Dubai International (DXB) at 09:00 and arrive at Cluj-Napoca’s Avram Iancu International Airport (CLJ) at 12:40.

After one hour on the ground, the jet will depart Cluj-Napoca at 13:40 as FZ768 and head back to Dubai, landing there at 20:45. Flying time to Cluj-Napoca is five hours and 40 minutes. The return trip is quicker, taking just five hours and five minutes.

“flydubai’s new service will offer more than 3.5 million people, living within a few hours’ drive from the airport, the convenience of direct air links to Dubai,” says flydubai’s Jeyhun Efendi.

“There is also the opportunity for passengers to connect travel beyond on our network to popular destinations like Malé and Zanzibar. The twice-weekly service will also benefit the Romanian expatriate population in the UAE to travel home more easily.”

flydubai sees a lot of potential in Romania, including its second-largest city Cluj-Napoca (pictured). Photo: flydubai

Untapped Romanian potential for flydubai

flydubai sees a lot of potential in Romania. The existing daily flights between Dubai and Bucharest are due to go double daily in November. The airline first dipped its wings into the Romanian market in 2012 with four flights a week. They have steadily built up capacity since then.

flydubai notes Cluj-Napoca is the second-largest city in Romania. The city has one of the most dynamic economies in the country. Cluj-Napoca is the largest center for innovation and business opportunities in Transylvania. Avram Iancu International Airport Cluj is considered an important gateway to the north-western region of Romania.

“We are excited to offer more options for convenient direct air links to the market with the start of our flights to Cluj-Napoca, and we look forward to further stimulating travel and trade flows in both directions,” says flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.

A previous attempt by flydubai to begin flying to Cluj-Napoca earlier this year was scuttled by travel restrictions. Wizz Air had operated between Cluj-Napoca and Dubai’s Al Maktoum Airport (DWC) since 2015 but appeared to have also paused those flights.

However, flydubai’s entry onto the route coincides with Wizz Air’s impending return, this time flying to Dubai International (DXB). According to Wizz Air’s schedules, weekly flights are resuming on October 7, building to twice weekly by the end of the month. Whereas flydubai’s services will run on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Wizz Air’s has slated flights for Thursdays and Sundays.

flydubai will go head-to-head with Wizz Air on the Dubai – Cluj-Napoca route. Photo: Wizz Air

flydubai takes on Wizz Air flying to Cluj-Napoca

According to a Routesonline report from February 2021, two-way nonstop passenger traffic between Cluj-Napoca and Dubai was 12,689 in 2019. 2019 passenger numbers were substantially down on 2018 levels, and the average one-way fare was US$96.97. A little competition might put further downward pressure on fares.

If that proves to be the case, flydubai’s initial asking price for a return fare in economy Lite of US$240 may ultimately prove unsustainable. Promotional return business class fares are around $2,177. Wizz’s fares are substantially less, although many may argue flydubai, while still a low-cost carrier, is an infinitely more civilized travel experience than Wizz Air and worth the price difference.

flydubai’s new flights between Dubai and Cluj-Napoca are now bookable via the airline’s website. flydubai advises passengers to make sure that they are up to date with travel regulations. That includes entry rules and testing requirements at either end.