Flydubai fleet to grow to 236 in next decade

Flydubai plans to grow its fleet to 236 aircraft over the next 10 years, up from 57 today, according to a senior executive.

The fleet expansion will allow the Dubai-based carrier to extend its operations to more destinations in the Middle East and further afield, Sudhir Sreedharan, Flydubai’s vice president, commercial operations told Arabian Business. “This will continue to support further network growth.”

Sreedharan did not disclose whether the airline will stick to a previous order for the now-embattled Boeing 737 Max.

Flydubai’s chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, has previously suggested that the airline may order Airbus A320 Neo aircraft as a replacement for the Boeing 737 Max jets.

In the wake of a deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, Flydubai was forced to ground its entire fleet of 14 Max aircraft, accounting for 10 percent of its entire fleet.

“That gave me an option to talk to Airbus,” Sheikh Ahmed said at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in April. “It [Boeing] has to improve communication with customers.”

Boeing has still not made it clear when the Max will be able to fly again. The timeline for its return to the skies has been pushed back several times.

Sreedharan said that Flydubai’s expanded code-share pact with Emirates is “on track” to reach 240 destinations by 2022.

He said the airline currently has “no plans to look at other code-shares at the moment.”

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