As many are preparing to travel this summer, there’s still many precautions passengers must take as the pandemic continues.

With Dubai set to be a travel hub this summer, airlines such as flydubai are going above and beyond to ensure all of the necessary measures and more are being taken to give their passengers a safe travel experience.

Flydubai has flights available to many key holiday destinations and with many of those places allowing quarantine-free travel for UAE residents, it’s set to be a busy summer for the airline.

As travel picks up for the summer season, Emirates Woman sat down with Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations for the airline, to find out how flydubai is recovering amidst the pandemic and how the airline is going above and beyond for travellers.

What have been the prevailing challenges the last year has brought and how did you overcome them?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has presented itself to the industry as one of the most challenging times in aviation history. At flydubai we have recognized early on, that as part of the global community we play an important role in response to the pandemic. We have therefore focused our efforts on rebuilding confidence among our passengers and making travel accessible and less complicated, especially as travel restrictions gradually ease and as customers start to plan their holidays again. To encourage more people to plan their holidays with us, we have launched a number of initiatives, including a redesigned passenger experience and more flexibility for flight bookings and holiday packages.

What are the precautionary measures taken on by flydubai to ensure safe travel?

By introducing a few simple steps that are designed to inform and protect our passengers at every step of their journey, we have enabled travel in a safe environment and provided customers with the flexibility to make changes to their travel arrangements if needed. For our holiday packages that are available on holidays by flydubai, we are offering the option to tailor the entire travel experience to best match to our passengers’ needs, including travel insurance and optional extras such as airport transfers, guided tours and activities during their stay.

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Are there any other pioneering technologies and products that flydubai is adapting to enhance the passenger experience?

To further enhance our onboard offering, we have recently launched a complimentary inflight entertainment streaming platform that allows passengers to enjoy wireless inflight entertainment directly on their personal devices. The streaming service is provided by Global Eagle, the same service provider we are using for our WiFi connectivity and is available on our Next Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Our WiFi is now also available on 40 of our fleet of 50 Boeing 737 aircraft, giving our passengers more options for connectivity during their flight. Additionally, we have plans to roll out several new services, including our online eShop where passengers can pre-purchase a selection of products that will be delivered to their seat during the flight, as well as Bluetooth headphone pairing on our Boeing MAX aircraft, allowing passengers to bring their own headphones and easily connect to our entertainment system.

Which destinations do you see the greatest demand for?

With travel restrictions gradually easing, there is a number of destinations that passengers from the UAE can travel to without having to quarantine. We have already seen a growing demand and our focus is on offering our passengers more choice to travel this summer, while making their experience a little less stressful. We have launched 19 new destinations for the summer including some of the most popular holiday spots in Georgia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Turkey and Egypt.

Mykonos and Santorini, two of our most recent additions, will be popular choices for travel from the UAE and GCC. We can also expect our route to Naples to be a popular choice, as Italy has always been one of our passengers’ favourite destinations. The city has a lot to offer and is a great starting point to discover the beauty of the Amalfi coast. For the first time, we have also launched flights to Bodrum and Trabzon in Turkey. While Bodrum has been a favoured holiday spot for travellers from the region for a while, Trabzon can be considered a hidden gem and will be particularly popular among those who enjoy a refreshing climate to escape the summer heat.

Since our passengers have not been able to travel as much as they wanted to over the past year, we are committed to make their travel experience as pleasant and uncomplicated as possible. We are offering convenient travel options, holiday packages and more flexibility, including complimentary global travel insurance for COVID-19 related costs. For a smooth experience, we also encourage passengers to keep up to date with the regulations from the IATA Travel Centre and follow the guidance issued by the authorities and airline.

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Where would you like to escape to this summer?

If I could get on a flight tomorrow, my destination of choice would be Mykonos for sure and I was really excited when we announced this route. Dubai is already getting hotter and it’s just the right time to escape the heat in the city – I can hardly imagine a better place than the popular Greek island to enjoy a cool breeze from the Mediterranean, paired with warm Greek hospitality, culture and fresh seafood. I’m sure I’m not the only one – with a travel corridor between the UAE and Greece for fully vaccinated travellers I expect Mykonos and Santorini, together with some of our other summer destinations, to become popular summer vacation spots for Dubai residents and passengers from across our network.

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Images: Supplied, Feautre Image: flydubai Instagram