Flydubai has firmed an order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 11 Boeing 737-800s
The deal, the firm part of which the manufacturer values at $8.8 billion at list prices, also includes purchase rights for 25 more Boeing 737 MAX jets.
Flydubai first announced the order as a commitment at the Dubai Airshow 2013. It is Boeing’s largest single-aisle aircraft order in the Middle East.
“2013 has been a tremendous year for flydubai. We have launched 16 new routes, delivered profitability in just three years of operation and launched our Business Class service,” says Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer of flydubai.
“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,” adds Al Ghaith.
The 737 MAX will be fitted with new CFM International LEAP-1B engines. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 14 per cent fuel-use improvement over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft, according to Boeing.
According to the manufacturer, development of the 737 MAX is on schedule, with firm design configuration of the Boeing 737 MAX family achieved in July 2013.
The first flight of a Boeing 737 MAX (in the form of a 737 MAX 8) is scheduled in 2016, with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. The 737 MAX has accumulated firm orders for more than 1,700 aircraft to date.
Boeing claims the 737 MAX family will have 8 per cent lower operating costs per seat than the future competition, which will mainly be the Airbus A320neo family but will also include the Bombardier CSeries, China’s Comac C919 and Russia’s Yakovlev Yak-242, previously known as the Irkutsk MS-21. The A320neo family has outsold the 737 MAX family to date, with more than 2,500 ordered.
Various independent industry analysts, such as the AirInsight group of consultants, strongly contest Boeing’s claim, saying all indications to date are that the members of the A320neo family will be as fuel-efficient per seat as the equivalent 737 MAX models.
As an all-new aircraft rather than a derivative, re-engined jet, the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G-powered Bombardier CS300 is likely to be more fuel-efficient per seat than its nearest 737-family and A320-family rivals, the 737 MAX 7 and the A319neo.
Airbus also offers a version of the CFM LEAP-1 engine, the LEAP-1A (the ‘A’ standing for Airbus) on the A320neo family, as well as the new Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan, which is already achieving fuel burn reductions of around 20 per cent compared with current-production engines of similar maximum thrust.
Flydubai placed its first order, for 50 Boeing 737-800 jets, at the 2008 Farnborough Air Show and took delivery of its first aircraft in 2009.
The airline was the first in the world to introduce the Boeing Sky Interior. To date, flydubai has grown its fleet to 34 737-800s.