The embattled Boeing 737 Max aircraft remains an “important part of Flydubai’s present and future”, with discussions about compensation from the airline manufacturer expected “at the right time” according to CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.
The Dubai low-cost carrier ordered 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in November 2017, valued at $27 billion.
Following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in March, Flydubai grounded its current fleet of 13 737s as a precautionary measure which in turn led to the airline to cancel up to 15 flights each day.
Speaking to Arabian Business on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Ghaith said despite the grounding of the aircraft and subsequent flight cancellations, “the Max is an important part of our [Flydubai’s] present and future”.
“Unfortunately, the aircraft is currently not operating, and that is something we totally understand. Safety and security is our number one priority,” he said.
“We are very confident that with all the current checks that have been happening around the world, the aircraft will come back. We trust the Boeing company’s ability to produce fantastic aircraft. They’ll come back much stronger,” he added.
Ghaith said he believes the safety checks that are currently being undertaken by Boeing will mean the 737 Max “will be checked more than any other aircraft, which will make it even safer.”
When asked whether Flydubai will seek compensation from Boeing, Ghaith responded that the company is “working with Boeing and I’m sure that these are things [compensation] that we will discuss at the right time to ensure that there will always be satisfactory answers".
At the moment, Ghaith said the airline is focused on “ensuring there is a minimal impact to our customer”.
“17% of our flights were affected by the [groundings] and we are trying to do our best to minimise the effect. For us, it’s a matter of relationship with the customer,” he said.
“After safety and security, looking after our customers is our second most important priority. As soon as the aircraft is back, we’ll manage to restore confidence and add more flights.”
Source: Arabian Business