Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is “sorry” for disruptions to Flydubai’s operations following the grounding of its fleet of 737 Max aircraft, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Flydubai was forced to ground its current fleet of 14 737s in March following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight, which has led to the airline cancelling up to 15 flights per day.
On Monday, Flydubai chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told reporters at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai that the airline has a “right” to seek compensation from Boeing because of the groundings.
He added the airline is now exploring the option of modifying an existing order to purchase 225 737 Max aircraft from Boeing - a deal that's worth $27 billion - and instead may turn to Airbus aircraft such as the A320 Neo.
In a statement sent to Arabian Business, a Boeing spokesperson said, “Flydubai has been and continues to be a valued customer. We are sorry for the disruption this situation has caused them.
"We are focused on earning their trust and supporting all of our customers around the world in every way possible to ensure complete confidence in the 737 Max and a safe return to commercial flight.”
In his comments to reporters, Sheikh Ahmed also said he believed communication between Flydubai and Boeing “could be better”, adding that he hopes for more clarity from the manufacturer on when the aircraft would be flyable again and new measures such as the re-programming of its MCAS anti-stall system.
At a shareholder gathering in the US on Tuesday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg refused to concede whether design flaws in the MCAS system led to the Air Ethiopia crash and a similar incident which took place in Indonesia in October 2018.
In both crashes, the system was triggered by a single erroneous error.
“There’s a chain of events. There are multiple contributing factors,” he said. “We’re going to break that chain.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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