Flydubai will lease four Boeing 737s to boost its capacity over the upcoming busy travel season while its 14 Max aircraft remain grounded.
The agreement with Smartwings will supplement flydubai’s fleet of 40 NG Boeing 737s between December and January.
Flydubai’s decision to wet lease the four aircraft from the Czech Republic-based airline is due to the continued grounding of its 737 Max since March.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO at flydubai, said: “The continued grounding of our MAX aircraft has had a significant impact on our operations with a 30% reduction of our flying schedule.
“We are taking every effort to minimise disruption for our passengers and these four additional aircraft will enable more passengers to have more options to travel during the holiday season.”
The all-economy class leased aircraft will operate on select routes on the flydubai network including: Bahrain, Colombo, Faisalabad, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Multan, Prague and Sialkot.
Flydubai said it continues to review its plans, “exploring all options to minimise disruption to its passengers with the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and these aircraft will not rejoin the operating schedule until it has received regulatory approval by the GCAA”.
The GCAA will only approve the Max for flight once its US counterpart, the FAA, is satisfied.
The FAA has reiterated that the 737 Max will not be cleared for service until it has completed ‘numerous rounds rigorous testing’ and is completely satisfied.