The first Boeing 737MAX aircraft belonging to low-cost airline flydubai took off from the Boeing delivery center in Seattle today. The Dubai-based airline has 75 of the next generation aircraft on order with deliveries expected over the next few years. flydubai will become the first airline in the Middle East to operate the latest version of the worlds most popular passenger aircraft.
At present, flydubai currently serves over 95 destinations in 44 countries using a fleet of 58 Boeing 737-800’s. The more fuel efficient MAX aircraft will allow the airline to open up new and longer routes than it can reach at present.
The airline’s chief executive, Ghaith Al Ghaith said of the delivery: “This marked the largest single-aisle Boeing aircraft order placed in the Middle East. With this new chapter, we are looking forward to continuing our work with Boeing as we benefit from increased efficiency and are able to offer an enhanced customer experience.”
Boeing claims the 737MAX has lower per-seat costs and an extended range compared to other aircraft in its class. European airline, Norwegian Air shuttle is already using the first of its 737MAX aircraft to operate brand new transatlantic routes between secondary airport’s in the United States and Europe.
Despite huge changes in the Middle East’s aviation market, flydubai has remained committed to the order it placed with Boeing at the Dubai Airshow in 2013. Several weeks ago, flydubai and full-service carrier, Emirates announced a major tie-up that will see the two airlines coordinating routes, schedules and operations.
Speaking on behalf of Boeing, Kevin McAllister commented: “This delivery marks another significant milestone in our partnership. We are confident that the market-leading efficiency and reliability of the 737 MAX will play a key role in flydubai’s continued success and complement its current Boeing fleet.”
So far, the 737MAX has been Boeing’s biggest success story to date – Over 3,800 orders have been placed from 89 airline customers around the world.