flydubai could look to purchase Airbus aircraft as their frustration with Boeing rises. The airline claims that Boeing needs to improve its customer communication following the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.
flydubai is a strong Boeing supporter, exclusively flying the Boeing 737 family of aircraft. As such, it would pay for Boeing to keep the airline in their good books, as they would likely require more aircraft somewhere down the road. It seems like this isn’t the case, however, as reports suggest flydubai is considering changing allegiances to the Airbus A320 family.
flydubai is a low-cost airline owned by The Government of Dubai. While the Dubai government also owns Emirates Airlines, the two entities are not connected, with flydubai remaining outside of the Emirates Group. The airline was founded in March 2008, commencing operations in June 2009. flydubai currently has a fleet of 59 aircraft according to Airfleets.net, however, 13 of these are grounded Boeing 737 MAXs.
While the airline has only received 13 MAXs, it has a much greater outstanding order for the aircraft. In fact, flydubai placed an order for 175 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which, according to Boeing, was worth $27 billion at the time. This makes the airline the second largest MAX customer.
According to Reuters, flydubai is less than pleased with how Boeing is handling the Boeing 737 MAX situation. The airline has claimed that Boeing should be doing more to converse with Boeing 737 MAX customers. Reuters also reports airline chairman, Sheikh Ahmed, said “more needed to be known about those fixes and the how long the plane grounding will last”.
It seems as though airlines are also beginning to follow Norwegian’s lead. Just days after the 737 MAX was grounded, Norwegian publicly demanded that Boeing pay the airline compensation. Now, flydubai is following in Norwegian’s footsteps. Mr Ahmed said “I have to ask [for compensation]. It is my right. I didn’t ground those 14 aircraft”
Is an Airbus order on the horizon?
With flydubai requiring aircraft in order to expand, it seems as though the airline is not keen on the current state of affairs. As things stand, flydubai is unsure when to expect that its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will fly again.
As a result, the airline has had to ground up to 15 flights per day. This is something that no carrier would be pleased with. However, Mr Ahmed told reporters that the circumstances had allowed him to talk to Airbus. The Airbus A320 is the Boeing 737’s biggest rival.
As flydubai is one of Boeing’s largest 737 MAX customers, any change of order, whether partial or full, to its rivals would come as a blow. If the big customers are not prepared to take the aircraft, it could knock the confidence of some smaller carriers. We have already seen Air Samoa reject their Boeing 737 MAX delivery.
Do you think flydubai should switch to the Airbus A320? Let us know in the comments.