Fly Dubai makes Juba its next Africa destination


Confirmation was received yesterday afternoon from a regular aviation source in Juba / South Sudan, that Fly Dubai, the leading LCC of the United Arab Emirates, will commence flights from 21st April this year.

Initially the airline, using an exclusive fleet of B737-800 NG aircraft, will fly four times a week between Dubai and Juba on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

The announcement comes as a surprise to aviation observers as destinations like Nairobi, Entebbe or Dar es Salaam were expected to be the next target of Fly Dubai, which is on a slow but steady expansion drive into Africa. Flying already into Addis Ababa, the airline is facing LCC competition into Africa from Sharjah based Air Arabia, which is flying daily into Nairobi, but there is clearly growing demand for LCC fares as more and more expatriates from Eastern Africa are now working in the UAE and opting for cheap fares on flights with no frills instead of using the regular but more pricey services by Kenya Airways, Emirates or Etihad, the latter two also based in the UAE.

Return fares have been given by the source as starting at US Dollars 650 return, including a 20 KG / one piece of checked baggage and a size and weight limited cabin baggage. Arrival in Juba is scheduled at 14.00 hrs in the afternoon after leaving Dubai at 10.10 local time and the return flight is due to leave Juba at 15.00 hrs arriving at Dubai at 21.15 hrs local time.

Juba, besides regular double daily flights from Air Uganda ex Entebbe and Kenya Airways ex Nairobi is connected to the outside world daily via Ethiopian Airlines ex Addis Ababa and a few other carriers, but being restricted to daylight operations has been sidelined so far by major European or Gulf carriers, some of which have also cited the congested airport facilities and lack of modern handling equipment for their absence from Juba.

Watch this space for regular and breaking news from East Africa’s aviation scene.

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