MIAMI — Boeing has delivered the first 737 MAX 8 to Middle Eastern low-cost carrier flydubai. The aircraft, rightly registered A6-MAX, is the first of 75 737 MAXs the carrier has on order.
“We are delighted to receive our first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from our order made at the Dubai Airshow in 2013,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai. “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.”
Currently, flydubai operates a fleet of 58 737-800s from their Dubai International (DXB) and from Al Maktoum Airport (DWC).
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A6-MAX has flown only three test flights before delivery. One of these flights was a special photo flight for future flydubai promotions. The company shared several behind the scenes photos of the special photo flight on their Instagram page.
“flydubai’s growth in just nine years has been remarkable and Boeing is honored to have been part of this journey,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister. “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.”
Already, the second 737 MAX 8 for flydubai has completed final assembly and will soon begin flight testing. The second aircraft will be registered A6-FMA.
“As the first MAX customer in the region, we look forward to the further fuel and operating efficiencies that this aircraft will bring to our young modern fleet,” said Ken Gile, Chief Operating Officer, flydubai. “Our flight crew share our excitement in operating one of the most highly anticipated commercial aircraft to enter service on our network.”
In June of this year, flydubai and Emirates announced that they would create a new “extensive partnership” that many view as a partial merger. Then, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of FlyDubai, said ““Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai.”
The partnership is ideal for both carriers. flydubai will provide Emirates with the short-haul and thin markets that would not be economically viable with the 777. At the same time, Emirates will provide valuable feed onto flydubai flights at their DXB hubs.
flydubai is the third airline to take delivery of the 737 MAX after the Lion Air Group and Norwegian Air.