x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Order is for 75 737 MAX 8s and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s as the Arabian Gulf carrier pursues aggressive growth plans.

Boeing and flydubai finalised yesterday a US$8.8 billion order for 75 737 MAX 8s and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s as the Arabian Gulf carrier pursues aggressive growth plans.

The order was first announced as a commitment at the Dubai Airshow in November. Flydubai also retains purchase rights for 25 more 737 MAXs.

“The confirmed order for 75 737 MAXs and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s signifies the maturing of the airline and the strength of our business model as well as support flydubai’s ambitious growth,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, the flydubai chief executive.

Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, said: “As it approaches its fifth anniversary this summer, flydubai is well on its way to notching up 100 or more destinations as it rapidly looks to grow its 737 fleet to augment its plans.”

Since its start in 2009, flydubai has expanded to 66 destinations, with 16 new routes announced last year. The carrier also introduced business class services in October.

“flydubai is the only GCC low cost airline that flies the 737, whereas its competitors all fly A320s, which have fewer seats, and by extension have less revenue generating capability – this is also how flydubai has managed to become a profitable entity in just under four years,” said Mr Ahmad.

“These pricing and product advantages have served flydubai well and the introduction of the 737MAX and the size of that order will surely throw the gauntlet down to rivals as to how much faster and bigger flydubai really aims to become,” Mr Ahmad added.

Similar to Emirates Airline’s agreement with Qantas, flydubai too reached an agreement with Qantas last year that allows travellers to book connecting flights on the Dubai carrier.

selgazzar@thenational.ae