While FlyDubai has about half the slots of EK, not all slots will be able to go to EK. There have been complaints that other airlines have not been able to get prime slots (during EK hub waves) to compete.
Great point. I was aware of some others complaining about competing. My thought was that local authorities would have easily offered DWC (albeit, with less connectivity) and be willing to transition these carriers. It would alleviate the slot issue, and the issue of competition - albeit temporarily. That said, you're right - space at DXB is the demand. So, if EK were to gain the FlyDubai slots (19% of activity at DXB IIRC), then they will still have to cede to other carriers. If, on a 1:1 basis of replacement (of a FlyDubai 737 to a proposed EK A321/737), and surrendering expected slots to some competitors - would it still be enough for EK?
So there is some room for slip at DWC, but I expect it to keep moving forward. In particular if FlyDubai does well at DWC. That will add revenue to the system to fund expansion.
EK is looking at narrowbodies (separate thread for that). If they were to buy A321NEOs, there would be a tremendous number of new secondary cities served with profitable connections.
How is FlyDubai doing financially? I mean, as fuel is low, and the move to DWC could affect their performance. My thought was that, if FlyDubai were not interested in expanding right away, they could lease some of those 737s (or, lease some of the 737 MAX's on order) to EK to suffice for now. I guess my overall question is - free from the constraints of DXB, would EK need the narrowbodies at DWC, when FlyDubai essentially would compete at the lower end? I'll try to get that question over to the other thread.
Personally, I think EY and EK should join at DWC... but that might need its own thread.
Yes, perhaps. The new airport facilities at AUH, though - are impressive. On the plus side, such a move would alleviate the EK narrow-body concern, as EY does that now, and has experience with it. That said, what a merger that would be...