Complex Made Simple

Air Arabia vs. flydubai: Who is winning the low-cost battle?

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), celebrated 15 years of operations this Sunday, October 28. The company has enjoyed continued success over the years, earning $180 million in profit in 2017.

Yet, the LCC has not been without a competitor.

In 2009, six years after it commenced operations, Air Arabia saw a rival LCC appear on the scene: flydubai. Air Arabia has the cost efficiency advantage because they operate out of Sharjah, yet this hasn’t dissuaded its Dubai-based nemesis from catching up, and fast.

Below, we compare important figures from both companies, for an overview of how each is performing. Take a look for yourself.

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To reiterate, despite a six-year head start by Air Arabia, flydubai has covered significant ground in the years to follow. Their fleet outnumbers Air Arabia’s in number.

Furthermore, the company is anticipating exponential growth in the coming years – they expect to receive 295 aircraft.

While their $10.1 million profit is measly compared to Air Arabia’s $180 million, their revenue has outperformed. flydubai’s revenue outperformed Air Arabia’s $1 billion by 50%, or half a billion. The Dubai-based company could possibly be thanking its code-sharing partnership with Emirates for the large volume of sales. Air Arabia is not code sharing with any UAE carrier as of this writing.

Given its backlog, flydubai is also looking to overtake the Sharjah-based LLC in terms of fleet.

If Air Arabia is not careful, they could lose major market share in the coming years.

Air Arabia rebrands to stay afloat?

While the carrier is doing great at the moment, with great profit margins, Air Arabia’s decision to rebrand could have come as a result of the mounting competition. If it does not stay on its toes, it could lose ground to flydubai in no time.

A statement by the airline said, “Air Arabia’s new brand identity grows from the idea ‘Now, more than ever’ reflecting Air Arabia’s ambitious, customer-relevant and eager personality while positioned to provide customers with true value and accessible air travel options.”

The airline has maintained its symbol, the seagull, “modernizing it and further spreading its wings reflecting the carrier’s growth and outlook while staying true to its original look,” the statement said.

The rebranding should steer the company in a new direction, while maintaining its image of bringing customers budget-friendly trips and convenience.

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