Dubai-based airline flydubai, in a significant expansion move, has inked a deal with Boeing [NYSE: BA] to acquire 30 787-9 Dreamliners. This marks the airline’s first foray into widebody aircraft, a diversification from its current all-737 fleet. The announcement, made at the Dubai Airshow, signals flydubai’s intent to broaden its network and increase capacity on existing routes.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, reflected on the airline’s growth since its initial Boeing 737 order in 2008. He emphasized the airline’s evolution and its commitment to enhancing Dubai’s status as an aviation hub. The new 787 Dreamliners, noted for their fuel efficiency, are set to enable flydubai to explore new horizons and meet increasing demand.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, highlighted the 787 Dreamliner’s blend of operational excellence, fuel efficiency, and passenger appeal, aligning with flydubai’s innovation-driven approach. The 787-9 model, capable of carrying 296 passengers up to 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles), offers versatility for both short and medium-haul markets.
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, underscored the 787-9’s alignment with flydubai’s strategic needs, particularly for longer-range routes and network capacity enhancement. He also pointed to the unique passenger experience, dubbed the “Dreamliner effect,” which promises greater comfort and a more refreshing journey.
Currently, flydubai operates a fleet of 79 all-737 airplanes, with an additional backlog of 137 737s. Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook forecasts a substantial growth in the Middle Eastern airplane fleet, anticipating a doubling over the next two decades, with widebody airplanes constituting nearly half of these deliveries.
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