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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

Flyadeal and Boeing sign commitment for up to 50 737 MAX jets

The deal is subject to both sides concluding final terms and conditions and a purchase agreement

Flyadeal selected the 737 MAX for future fleet and international expansion. Courtesy: Flyadeal
Flyadeal selected the 737 MAX for future fleet and international expansion. Courtesy: Flyadeal

Ending months of speculations, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned budget carrier Flyadeal on Friday announced that it will be growing its fleet with Chicago-based planemaker Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft.

Flyadeal, a unit of Saudi Arabian Airlines, is committed to order 30 airplanes with options for 20 more in a deal that would be valued at up to $5.9 billion at list price.

“The low-fares airline will continue to expand rapidly, and the addition to the fleet aligns well with Flyadeal’s target to grow its presence in the domestic market and cover new markets outside of Saudi Arabia,” said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Though both Flyadeal and Boeing announced this agreement on Friday but the deal is subjected to both sides concluding final terms and conditions and a purchase agreement.

Earlier, Flyadeal was considering narrow-body models made by Airbus and Boeing for its 50-jet fleet plan as the carrier is studying the feasibility of operating long-haul flights amid discussions for closer co-operation with its parent company Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Flyadeal has selected the 737 MAX 8 which has capacity for 189 passengers in a one-class configuration. Compared to Flyadeal’s current fleet of A320s, the MAX 8 carries 12 more passengers and provides 8 per cent lower operating costs per seat.

“We have supplied commercial airplanes to Saudi Arabia for more than 70 years and we look forward to finalising this agreement and delivering advanced jetliners to Flyadeal in the years ahead,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing for The Boeing Company.

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Flyadeal currently operates a fleet of eight leased A320s and expects to receive delivery of another three by the end of this year. It launched domestic flights in September 2017 and plans to serve regional destinations within a three-hour radius of its Jeddah hub.

The airline competes with another Saudi budget carrier Flynas that has been operating since 2007 and has a fleet of 30 aircraft flying to 17 Saudi and 53 international destinations.

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,800 orders from over 100 customers worldwide.

Updated: December 21, 2018 04:16 PM

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