MIAMI — Boeing has announced yet another major 737 MAX order today, this time for Saudia Arabian Low-Cost Carrier, Flyadeal. The Arab carrier has confirmed a firm order for 30 737 MAX 8s, with 20 options. The total deal is valued at $5.9 billion.
Over the past year, Flyadeal has been evaluating whether it should order 50 aircraft from either Boeing or Airbus for its future long-term growth.
Currently, the airline operates a fleet of nine Airbus A320ceo aircraft, all of which were delivered between August 2017 and December 2018. Two remaining A320ceos will be delivered to the airline in the coming months.
For this reason, Airbus regretted the airline’s decision to decide against its A320neo program and chose the competitor’s Boeing 737 MAX product instead.
But since the end of World War II, Boeing has had a significant relationship with Saudia Arabia, with the country’s main carriers operating most of Boeing’s commercial planes over the past 70 years.
Based in Jeddah, Flyadeal launched operations in September 2016, offering flights to eight domestic destinations.
“The demand for air transport services in the domestic market of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has grown exponentially,” said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines. “A new brand, with a fresh identity, focused on low-fares, flyadeal has brought to the market a new choice, which has been received very positively.”
Al-Jasser added that the low-fares airline “will continue to expand rapidly, and the addition to the fleet aligns well with flyadeal’s target to grow its presence in the domestic market and cover new markets outside of Saudi Arabia.”
Ihssane Mounir, SVP of Commercial Sales and Marketing for Boeing noted how the manufacturer has “supplied commercial airplanes to Saudi Arabia for more than 70 years and we look forward to finalizing this agreement and delivering advanced jetliners to flyadeal in the years ahead.”
It remains to be seen whether the airline will keep its Airbus fleet together with the incoming 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. In the LCC industry, it is highly unlikely that the operator will chose a dual fleet, which can ultimately increase training and crew certification expenses.