Airline CEO says there is 'open race' between plane makers; decision due before November
Low-cost carrer flydubai expects to make a decision on who will supply an order for 50 narrow-body aircraft worth $5bn by November at the latest, its CEO has been quoted as saying.
Ghaith Al Ghaith said in an interview with Bloomberg that there is an "open race" between US-based Boeing and European rival Airbus to win the order.
The carrier, which currently uses 30 Boeing 737s, is considering the re-engined Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320neo models and plans to make a choice by November’s Dubai Air Show, he told Bloomberg.
“We will choose what’s best for us and what’s best could be a new type,” Al Ghaith was quoted as saying, adding: “Both aircraft appeal to us. The best decision is the one that costs us the least.”
flydubai aims eventually to grow its network to 100 cities from 64, Al Ghaith said.
He added that the carrier may issue a sukuk or Islamic bond to fund the planned 50-aircraft purchase, though it could comfortably finance the order from its own cash flow.
Last month, flydubai announced it is to launch business class services across its network of 60 destinations.
The airline will receive delivery of the first aircraft with a business class cabin in August. All new aircraft subsequently delivered will include business and economy classes.
Business class tickets will be available for purchase on selected flights from August, and the inaugural flight is scheduled to take off in October, the carrier said in a statement without giving price details.