Dubai-based carrier flydubai hasn’t ruled out the acquisition of Airbus aircraft in the future.
The airline is at present an all-Boeing operator and has a fleet of 80 Boeing 737 aircraft which includes 30 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 47 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
It made headlines at the Dubai Airshow 2023 when it announced that it had reached a deal to acquire 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners – its first widebody aircraft order – in an agreement valued at US$11 billion.
However, in an exclusive interview with Business Traveller on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow 2023, Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at flydubai, didn’t rule out the possibility of the future addition of Airbus aircraft to its fleet.
“We are very honoured by the support that we get from Boeing. We are always open-minded to acquiring Airbus [aircraft]…it’s a fantastic aircraft. Unfortunately, we have never been lucky enough to strike the right deal [with Airbus]. But in the future, you never know,” said Al Ghaith.
Speaking a few hours after the latest multi-billion-dollar deal was agreed, Al Ghaith struck an optimistic note of what the strategic decision to acquire widebody aircraft means for flydubai. “It’s a sign of maturity for us at flydubai. It shows that after 15 years of our operations – and 18 years until we get [the new widebody] aircraft – we have come of age and are mature enough to expand.
“The most important thing about this is the trust His Highness and the government of Dubai has in flydubai that we can actually deliver and expand. I am sure we will deliver at the pace that we have delivered in the past and be successful.”
Deliveries of the new widebody aircraft are set to commence from 2026. Flydubai confirmed that there is an order backlog of more than 130 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to be delivered by 2035.
Al Ghaith has previously attributed delays in aircraft deliveries to having impacted the airline’s ability to expand. However, he says that he’s now confident that the issues which caused the delayed deliveries were being duly addressed.
“I think delays in delivery are a part of the business. There are so many things that comes together to make an aircraft. I think we’re now seeing the end to the disruption to the supply chain that happened during the pandemic, and hopefully we’ll all learn from it,” said Al Ghaith.
(Image: Sourced from flydubai newsroom)