190621 flydubai
Budget carrier flydubai said it had reached an agreement with Boeing to cut the number of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft it will take delivery of by 65. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Budget carrier flydubai said it had reached an agreement with Boeing to cut the number of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft it will take delivery of by 65.

flydubai said the move comes after a “review of its fleet plans in line with the airline’s strategy of rebuilding the travel sector following the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing dynamics of the airline’s route structure”

flydubai, which had placed the orders in 2013 and 2017, said it took delivery of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 in June, adding that a further 11 aircraft will join its fleet by the end of the year.

Currently, the carrier operates a single fleet-type of 52 Boeing 737 aircraft. This includes 36 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 3 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

2020 hit

Like its peers in the aviation industry, flydubai has been hit hard by the pandemic, which has led to the closure of key markets.

flydubai reported a loss of Dh712.6 million for the period ending December 31, 2020. The airline, which carried 3.2 million passengers last year, said its total annual revenue fell nearly 53 per cent to Dh2.8 billion in 2020, compared to the same period a year earlier.

The airline said that it had severely curtailed flight operations for 14 weeks between March 24 and July 7 last year. “Coupled with the effects of the pandemic, performance was also impacted by the 22-month grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft,” the airline said in its report.