flydubai, Dubai's pioneering low cost airline, has signed a Maintenance Cost Agreement with Honeywell, worth more than $20 million, to provide maintenance support for the carrier's auxiliary power units (APUs) installed on its growing fleet of Boeing 737-800 NG passenger aircraft.
The ten-year contract provides flydubai with a stable, predictable maintenance structure that reduces costs associated with ad-hoc maintenance work and unscheduled airframe grounding. It also extends the operational availability of the fleet, which currently stands at 20 aircraft. flydubai has another 30 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft on order.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said: "With one of the highest fleet utilisation rates in the industry, we need to ensure that our aircraft fully support the operations schedule and Honeywell's timely responses will safeguard this. This contract will also help flydubai maximise our operational efficiency to maintain our excellent performance record, while providing cost savings that we can pass onto passengers by way of lower fares."
Honeywell's 131-9B APU supplies auxiliary power to each of flydubai's Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft for engine start, as well as power for on-board air conditioning and pre-engine start-up power supply.
APU reliability is essential to ensure aircraft adhere to exacting international safety and performance requirements whether on the ground or flying over water. flydubai selected Honeywell as it can meet these standards at an attractive price point.
lydubai already has one of the highest utilisation rates in the industry at between 13 and 16 hours a day, but the need for airlines to maximise aircraft efficiency was highlighted recently by new data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reporting that Middle Eastern passenger traffic increased by 9.1% in September 2011 over September 2010.
"With passenger demand in the Middle East growing rapidly, the need to maximise the operational capacity and efficiency of aircraft fleets while maintaining a high level of safety, is now top of operators' agendas," John Bolton, President Air Transport & Regional, Honeywell Aerospace said. "As one of the region's leading low cost carriers, cost reduction and serviceability of fleets is of paramount importance to flydubai. Our Maintenance Cost Agreement will reduce costs arising from unscheduled APU maintenance and maximise the flight status of its Boeing 737-800 NG fleet in the process."
In addition to Honeywell's standard APU product warranty, the Maintenance Cost Agreement provides flydubai with on-demand technical expertise from Honeywell's regional engineers. With flydubai's fleet growth over the next five years, the Maintenance Cost Agreement delivers maximum return on investment and operational availability that can be scaled to accommodate both current and future fleet demands.
flydubai has a simple model where customers only pay for services they want to receive. Fares are inclusive of all taxes plus one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 7kg and one small laptop bag or hand bag. Checked baggage starts at AED 50 for 20kgs. A seat with extra legroom costs AED100.
flydubai operates from the modernised Terminal 2 building on the north side of Dubai International Airport.