Dubai: The grounding of 13 of its Boeing 737 Max aircraft is expected to continue having a “significant impact” on flydubai, the airline’s chairman said.
Flydubai reported Dh196.7 million in losses for the first half of 2019 as it was impacted by the grounding of part of its fleet.
On Monday, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai, said he expected the carrier to miss out on more revenues during the busy seasons of Christmas and Easter.
He said that flydubai has already missed out on a lot revenues during the summer period due to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max’s. The aircraft model has been grounded since March following two fatal accidents involving 737 Max’s that killed over 300 people.
“Flydubai lost a lot during the summer period till now, so I would say that they will miss at least two or three periods of good revenue and profit. You have now the Christmas and New Year period. Whether [the grounding] goes beyond that will be seen, but that will be significant,” Shaikh Ahmad said.
At a media roundtable at the Dubai Air Show, Shaikh Ahmed said talks are still ongoing with Boeing on the return of 737 Max’s to the skies.
“I’m sure that Boeing has so much pressure…I told them they need to communicate much better than they did in the past…I hope that they will come up with something that will be acceptable to the industry,” he said.
Boeing has been working on updates to its 737 Max aircraft coupled with new training to pilots who fly the model, but even once that is done, regulators across the world will still have to approve the aircraft to fly again. The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority had earlier said it does not expect the 737 Max to return to the sky until early 2020.