(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) In addition, the Dubai-based airline retains purchase rights for 25 more 737 MAXs. The order was first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, making it Boeing's largest single-aisle airplane order in the Middle East.
It was inevitable that flydubai would build on its success with the current 737-800 by selecting the 737MAX family as its preferred new airplane of choice that will deliver lower fuel burn, better reliability and new economics to allow the airline to continue its record-breaking growth trajectory, according to a senior aviation analyst.
"In selecting an additional 11 more 737-800s, flydubai will be able to continue its expansion as it awaits the arrival of its first 737 MAX 8 in late 2017 - this will complement the existing 50 737-800s that the airline ordered back in 2008 whose deliveries complete at the end of 2015," Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times.
"If Emirates is the world's fastest growing full service airline, there is simply no escaping the fact that flydubai is on an equal footing in terms of how fast it is growing - and customers have been intrinsic to that growth," Ahmad added.
Flydubai's chief executive officer Ghaith Al Ghaith said: "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. 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."
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 14 per cent fuel-use improvement over today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes.
"The order is a tremendous endorsement of the ongoing popularity and reliability of the Next-Generation 737-800 and the unsurpassed fuel efficiency that the 737 MAX will offer in the single aisle market," said Marty Bentrott, vice president of sales, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are very proud to be partners in flydubai's success and that the airline will continue its expansion with an all-Boeing fleet."
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013.
The first flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,700 orders to date and will have eight per cent per-seat lower operating costs than the future competition.
Flydubai placed its first order for 50 Next-Generation 737-800s at the 2008 Farnborough Air Show and took delivery of its first airplane in 2009. The airline was the first in the world to debut the Boeing Sky Interior, an enhanced onboard experience. To date, flydubai has grown its fleet to 34 Next-Generation 737-800s.