Dubai-based flydubai has inaugurated its new service from Dubai to Sochi. flydubai flight FZ985 arrived at Sochi International Airport (AER) on 07 June and was met with a traditional water cannon salute and a welcome ceremony. The event was attended by Alexander Katorgin, flydubai General Manager for Russia, and Sergey Filippov, Executive Director for Sochi International Airport.
flydubai has been operating to Russia since 2010 and offers passengers from across its network more options for travel to Moscow and other major Russian cities including Yekaterinburg. In 2018, flydubai accounted for 43% of the increase in passengers travelling between Dubai and Russia. flydubai becomes the first GCC-based carrier to launch direct flights between Dubai and Sochi. With the new route, flydubai now serves nine destinations in Russia and in total 21 destinations in Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Commenting on the occasion, Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and E-commerce at flydubai, said:“Russia is an important market for us and flydubai becomes the first GCC-based airline to offer direct flights between Dubai and Sochi. Our flights to Sochi, along with the start of flights to Naples in Italy which began on 31 May, are further examples of how we continue to open up previously underserved markets. Our service and the convenience of direct flights, together with the recent changes in visa requirements which are reciprocal for Russians and UAE Nationals, will make Sochi a popular year-round destination and also enable easier access for travellers to Dubai.”
flydubai provides the option for Business Class travel on all its routes in Russia. Business Class passengers enjoy a comfortable spacious seat, a choice of meals from an internationally-inspired menu, a generous checked baggage allowance and fast track through immigration and security. The flydubai Business Class experience also provides complimentary access to Inflight Entertainment (IFE) with over 1,000 hours of entertainment and more than 150 films available in Russian on HD touchscreens. Passengers in Economy are provided with comfortable RECARO seats and can purchase extra-legroom seats, Inflight Entertainment and light snacks on board or preorder hot meals prior to their flight.
Emirates will codeshare on this route and for bookings under the codeshare Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in Business and Economy classes. The partnership between flydubai and Emirates was announced in 2017 and has expanded to meet increasing demand as passengers realise the benefits, such as access to an expanded global network, the convenience of travelling on a single ticket with seamless point to point baggage handling, the alignment of the frequent flyer programme and a smooth transfer during transit in Dubai.
Sochi is one of the major tourism hubs in Russia located on the Black Sea, popular for its beaches, forests and mountains. It is well known for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and being home to some of the best facilities for winter sports.
Earlier this year, authorities from the UAE and the Russian Federation announced a visa-free regime between the countries for the respective passport holders for the first 90 days upon arrival.
flydubai operates flights to over 90 destinations in 47 countries, including popular routes among Russian travellers, such as Dubai (UAE), Kathmandu (Nepal) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).
flydubai will operate flights FZ985/986 between Dubai International Terminal 2 (DXB) and Sochi International Airport on Mondays and Fridays.