The aviation industry has been given a much-needed lift on the first day of the Farnborough Air Show with low-cost Arabian airline, FlyDubai, announcing an order for 54 next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The order is valued at approximated US$4bn and marks the biggest single order by a Gulf-based low cost carrier for the Boeing aircraft.The deal comprises a firm order for 50 aircraft from Boeing and a separate leasing agreement with Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management for a further four Boeing 737-800s.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of FlyDubai, who signed the deal, said: “I am delighted to sign this announcement for 54 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s on behalf of FlyDubai. This aircraft is ideally suited to our core business, which is providing affordable, efficient and flexible options for people wishing to travel to and from Dubai.”
The announcement was made at Farnborough Air Show during a ceremony hosted by Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, Jim McNerney. Mr McNerney said: “Our relationship with the UAE is something we truly value and have worked to strengthen over time. Today’s order is the result of a thorough analysis of the contributions the Next-Generation 737 can make to FlyDubai’s innovative business model. We foresee the unmatched efficiency and operability of this incredible airplane bringing the same success to our partners in Dubai as it does to so many of the world’s most successful low-cost carriers.”
Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management (BBAM) manages the world’s fourth largest commercial jet fleet by value. Steve Zissis, President of BBAM, said: “We are delighted to form a partnership with FlyDubai and provide support for the government of Dubai at the very foundation of this exciting new airline, which continues the incredible growth of the aviation industry in Dubai.”
FlyDubai was formed by the Dubai Government in March 2008, and will offer customers flexible travel options that are simple, effective and good value for money.
The 737-800 is a single aisle aircraft configured with 189 Economy Class seats. It has a flying range of 4.5 hours, which will give FlyDubai access to an estimated 2 billion potential customers.
FlyDubai, which aims to start scheduled flights in mid-2009, has retained substitution rights to convert the 737-800s into 737-900ERs (extended range) in the future.