Trip Report: Emirates vs. Flydubai

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Flydubai is to Emirates like a younger, less favored sibling. A low-cost airline with a singletype fleet consisting of only Boeing 737s, next to a big brother, with an enormous fleet that consists of exclusively Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. This negative connotation cannot be further from the truth. In the fierce business of commercial aviation, Flydubai is actually to Emirates like a second breath. Cooperation and partnership that had yet not been replicated in the Gulf area. One that gives Emirates the narrow-body component and product flexibility that other airlines from the region need to achieve on their own.

A Blessing, Not a Curse

From a purely internal perspective, Flydubai gives Emirates an edge in regard to network planning and scheduling. It is possible to either open destinations that wouldn’t be able to support even the smaller of the two families operated by Emirates, the 777, or add more frequencies that enhance the product. It is also a way to offer a lower price point to the passengers without sacrificing the Emirates brand.

The decision between the two so-called siblings arose in front of me recently. The schedule was a driving factor when choosing the trip plan. To set off my journey I picked to fly from Dubai International Airport to Warsaw-Chopin on a morning segment with Emirates. It fit me best to fly back the overnight segment with Flydubai. This is a great way to compare the two carriers operating in parallel on the same route. What interested me the most during this endeavor was pure comfort. I wanted to waste the least amount of energy on travel as my trip was short and tight.

A Seat is a Seat?

On flights longer than two hours the seat can make a difference. Flights between Dubai and Warsaw are three times that long. It’s because of that, that I was able to notice the difference. My flights were operated by Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 737-8MAX respectively. Both…

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