DALLAS — Today, flydubai (FZ), Dubai’s low-cost carrier, announced that it will purchase 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with the order valued at US$11 billion. These 787s will be FZ’s first widebody aircraft in history as they diversify their fleet. Boeing will begin delivering these 787-9s to FZ in 2026.
The order was announced on the first day of the Dubai Airshow in a signing ceremony between flydubai’s Chairman, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and Stan Deal, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Furthermore, it came on the heels of a massive order by Emirates for the Boeing 777X. At the signing ceremony, the Dubai-based carrier said it plans to use the Boeing 787-9 to open new routes and grow capacity on existing routes.
Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum noted the importance of this order, which is the airline’s first time entering the world of widebodies, stating:
“I am proud today to see flydubai evolve further, surpassing labels and challenging the traditional conventions around travel. Today’s order reaffirms flydubai’s commitment to enabling more people to travel across its expanding network. The highly fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner will allow flydubai to expand its horizons and cater to the growing demand on existing routes.”
Until today, the carrier has only ordered and operated Boeing 737 family aircraft. Currently, FZ operates a fleet of 30 Boeing 737-800s and 50 737 MAX aircraft, which include 47 MAX 8s and three MAX 9s. Flydubai has orders for a further 137 Boeing 737 MAX.
The carrier placed its first-ever order in 2008 for 50 Boeing 737 aircraft. Since then, FZ has substantially grown to become a major player out of its Dubai hub and has continued to find success in the low-cost model. Today, the airline boasts a network spanning more than 115 destinations across 54 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. What’s more, 75 of its routes were not previously served by a UAE airline or had no flights to or from Dubai.
flydubai has always followed a strategy similar to that of other successful low-cost carriers—operating a single fleet type. However, adding the 787 Dreamliner will undoubtedly add costs for the airline and complexity to their operations. Flydubai believes that this penalty is worth it in the long run.
Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, commented:
“The 787-9 is perfectly suited for the needs of flydubai as it looks to open up longer-range routes and add capacity across its network… flydubai passengers will enjoy the Dreamliner effect, an experience like no other in the air, flying with more comfort and arriving at their destinations feeling more refreshed.”
The Boeing 787-9 can carry up to 296 passengers and boasts a range of 7,565 nautical miles. Since the 787 entered revenue service in 2011 with ANA All Nippon Airways (NH), the 787 family has enabled airlines to launch more than 380 new nonstop flights across the globe.
Half of the 787 Dreamliner flights are operated on short- and medium-haul flights under 2,700 nautical miles, thus further demonstrating the aircraft’s versatility and efficiency across many different network segments.
Featured image: flydubai Boeing 787-9. Photo: Boeing