flydubai has signed a deal with Smartwings to lease four of its Boeing 737 aircraft. The news comes as flydubai continues to feel the effects of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding.
flydubai is based, unsurprisingly from the name, out of Dubai. The airline operates an all Boeing 737 fleet. Currently, the airline is only flying the Boeing 737-800, as it is unable to fly the 737 MAX. This has stunted the carrier’s growth, as the airline had expected to receive many more of the MAX aircraft by now.
flydubai currently has 54 active Boeing 737 aircraft. This consists of just 40 which are currently flying, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft of the fleet. The remaining 14 aircraft are Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 11 of these aircraft are the 737 MAX 8, with the remaining three being the slightly larger 737 MAX 9.
It’s understandable that flydubai has been particularly strongly hit by the grounding of the 737 MAX. After all, the airline has placed the second largest Boeing 737 MAX order behind Southwest Airlines. In fact, the Dubai based carrier has 251 of the grounded aircraft on order.
The wet-lease agreement
flydubai has agreed to lease four Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Smartwings. The reason given for the lease is to avoid disruptions to customer’s plans during the busy holiday season quickly approaching.
The four aircraft will join flydubai’s fleet for just over a month. The aircraft wet-lease will commence on the 14th of December 2019. Following the Christmas and New Year periods, they will be returned to Smartwings on the 25th of January 2020.
As the aircraft have been wet-leased by flydubai, they will come complete with fuel, crew, and Smartwings service provided. flydubai will be paying Smartwings a fee for the aircraft to be operated on their behalf, as opposed to paying a fee just to lease the aircraft itself.
The four Smartwings Boeing 737-800 aircraft being wet-leased by flydubai have an all-economy seating layout. According to the airline, the aircraft will operate to destinations including Bahrain, Colombo, Faisalabad, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Multan, Prague and Sialkot.
The MAX grounding
flydubai has assured passengers that it will not resume flights with the 737 MAX until it has received full regulatory approval for the aircraft. Yesterday the FAA announced that it would take responsibility for issuing each Boeing 737 MAX airworthiness certificate.
flydubai had been planning to expand within Europe, however, Simple Flying recently found out that as a result of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, the airline was unable to realize its ambitions.
What do you make of flydubai’s new wet-lease agreement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!