Background The first airline to offer direct flights between the UAE and Israel following the historic Abraham Accords in 2020, this route was among the airline’s top 10 in 2021 after its launch in November 2020. Around 250,000 Israeli tourists and business travellers came to the UAE in 2021, and many of them with flydubai. With 14 flights to Tel Aviv a week now on the twice-daily route, the service is booming.
Check-in With a separate check-in area for business travellers, the experience is much more luxurious than one expects from a budget airline. Red carpets await travellers in the peaceful space away from the main section of the terminal. Staff are pleasant and do their best to get things done quickly, even though we experienced a technical glitch while I was checking in.
The Lounge Flydubai shares the Emirates lounge, which is very spacious. There is plenty of room to rest or work, with a wide range of seating options around the lounge. Food choices are fresh and plentiful, as is the bar with soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Staff are attentive and always
on hand to keep you refreshed.
Boarding Flydubai staff are exceedingly well trained, and the quality of service feels far from budget-quality. Staff are attentive and quickly pick up on whether you’re there to sleep or be attended to. Welcome drinks and snacks are served promptly, and they ensured we had everything we needed for a comfortable journey. Priority boarding makes the process much smoother on the flight which has now become a very busy route.
The Seat I was in seat 2E, a single window seat in the 2-2, 1-1 formation. The area was massive and the fully-reclining bed perfect for an inflight nap. It also felt very private. Though there were no extras like a sanitary kit, we had headphones and a bottle of water, and I was offered a blanket to sleep with which was heavy, soft and warm. It made all the difference to my nap. The seat
is great for working, with a large space on either side and a 15.6-inch touchscreen TV.
Best Seat For single travellers, ask for a single seat in the even numbers – for couples, the odd numbers are best.
The Flight With the choice of 167 movies and 159 TV shows, there is plenty of entertainment for a short flight, in addition to games. As my flight was at 7am, the meal choices were fresh fruit, yoghurt, scrambled eggs, blintzes, mezze and bakery items with a vast selection of teas, coffees and bar drinks to choose from. I didn’t eat as it was too early. Payable wifi is available on board and staff are always amenable. Having only one toilet for business though is slightly inconvenient.
Arrival Upon arrival, I found that the entry process into Israel was fast and smooth. Covid testing on arrival was scrapped, so all that visitors need now is the entry slip and a security check. I was all done and in my taxi in around 45 minutes, even with a Covid test on arrival as it was still necessary at the time. Maybe the early flight helped as the airport was quiet.
Verdict The new aircraft feels luxurious, and not at all budget. It’s a huge step up from the times I’ve flown business with flydubai before which though I’ve always enjoyed, I never felt I could sleep and work the way I did on this new plane. I can see this is well worth the extra investment to arrive fresh and ready for work. Melanie Swan
Best For: Points. The great thing about flying with Flydubai and Emirates is the points share arrangement between the two, so it’s easy to earn Skywards Miles with this flight
Configuration: 2 – 2, 1 – 1
Seat Pitch: 78 inches
Flight Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Price: Internet rate for a return business class flight from Dubai to Tel Aviv starts at around Dhs7,200