flydubai hasn’t seen any of its passengers unwilling to fly on the Boeing 737 MAX since the type returned to service earlier this year, according to its CEO, Ghaith al Ghaith. The airline now has a fleet of 22 MAX aircraft, with many more to be delivered over the coming years.
It’s been over a year since the Boeing 737 MAX was recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the type’s return to service has made serious progress. The global fleet had operated over 57 years of combined flight since the type’s return as of late October.
flydubai is happy with the MAX
At the recent Dubai Airshow, Simple Flying had the opportunity to catch up with Ghaith Al Ghaith, the CEO of flydubai. We talked about how the airline is already fully recovered from the pandemic and how Tel Aviv became such an important destination so quickly. However, we also touched on the Boeing 737 MAX.
Speaking to Simple Flying about the MAXs return, Al Ghaith remarked,
“We find [the MAX] very good… There were no issues as all… In my humble opinion, because this aircraft is actually the most scrutinized airplane ever I think that people have that in the back of their minds. Maybe that helped get this over the line because people are comfortable on the MAX.”
Al Ghaith revealed that flydubai had set up a process to deal with passengers who weren’t comfortable flying on a MAX, but that this process hadn’t been used as the airline hadn’t encountered any passengers unwilling to fly on the type. This is a similar story that Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary has told.
Many more MAX aircraft to come
According to data from ch-aviation.com, flydubai currently has a fleet of 22 MAX aircraft (19x MAX 8 and 3x MAX 9). Additionally, orders exist for another 114 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and 50 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft once the new variant has been certified. These will replace and expand a fleet of 35 NG aircraft.
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Al Ghaith revealed that flydubai has already taken delivery of eight MAX aircraft since the type was recertified and expects to have around five more aircraft delivered until the middle of June 2022. Al Ghaith added,
“We are very confident and very happy that the MAX is back and that we’re taking more.”
A handful of restrictions still exist
flydubai was reported to be instrumental in securing a partial unbanning of the Boeing 737 MAX in Indian airspace earlier this year. Unfortunately, several countries are still yet to recertify the 737 MAX, including one which affects flydubai.
According to the latest schedule data from Cirium, flydubai has 3,194 services planned for December 2021. Only 140 of these are due to go to Russia, but these will all have to be operated by the airline’s NG 737 jets. On the topic of Russia, Al Ghaith revealed that he was speaking to Boeing about the issue, who is in turn working with the Russian regulators on a path to recertification of the MAX.
Have you flown on a flydubai Boeing 737 MAX? Let us know how you found it in the comments below!