Dubai: Flydubai’s chairman said he is not concerned about the carrier’s upcoming Boeing 737 MAX deliveries following the crash of Lion Air aircraft of the same model in late October.
Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is also president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group, said on Monday that he was sure any issues with the model would be managed by American manufacturer Boeing.
“We always knew that aircraft could come up with a snag, especially when they launched. Boeing is a great company, [it has been] in business for a long time... I’m sure that will be managed,” he told reporters when asked about Boeing’s 737 models.
The Lion Air crash killed all 189 people onboard after the plane went down over the Java Sea shortly after take-off.
Boeing issued a warning to 737 MAX operators a week after the crash, saying that a sensor on the aircraft could provide false readings in limited circumstances.
Budget carrier flydubai unveiled its first 737 MAX 8 in late 2017 at the Dubai Air Show. The aircraft was the first of 76 jets ordered from Boeing.
Speaking to reporters at a show in Dubai, Shaikh Ahmad also discussed Emirates airline, saying the carrier was “optimistic” about its profit outlook, even amid challenges such as a tense geopolitical environment, currency fluctuations and higher fuel prices.
“I think when we talk about the airline business and profitability, it is affected by so many things; the geopolitical [environment], currency, fuel, and so on, and it’s not the first time that airlines have their ups and downs,” he said.
“I think as an airline, we always want to see [fuel prices] down, but we cannot control the market. I think, from an airline point of view, everybody wants it to see it below $60.”
Emirates reported last month an 86 per cent decline in its net profit for the first half of 2018 due to higher oil prices and currency fluctuations, warning of a “tough” year.