In a significant development for the aviation industry, Boeing and flydubai have formalised an agreement for the acquisition of 30 787-9 Dreamliners, marking flydubai’s foray into the world of widebody airplanes. The announcement, made at the Dubai Airshow during a signing ceremony, underscores the airline’s strategic move to diversify its fleet and embrace the operational advantages of the efficient Boeing 787.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, reflected on the airline’s journey, stating, “In 2008, when we placed our first-ever order for 50 Boeing 737 aircraft, we were confident of the vital role flydubai would play in supporting Dubai’s aviation hub.” Expressing pride in flydubai’s evolution, Sheikh Ahmed emphasised the airline’s commitment to challenging traditional travel norms. He noted that the addition of the highly fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner would not only open new routes but also address the growing demand on existing ones.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, highlighted the airline’s commitment to innovation and meeting market demands. “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at flydubai. We are committed to offering the right product at the right time to cater to the changing market and customer needs,” he stated. Al Ghaith pointed out that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with its blend of operational excellence, fuel efficiency, and passenger appeal, aligns perfectly with flydubai’s objectives.
The Boeing 787-9, with a capacity to carry 296 passengers over a range of 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles) and accommodate more cargo, stands out as a key player in the airline industry. Since its revenue service initiation in 2011, the 787 family has been instrumental in launching over 380 new nonstop routes globally. Notably, half of all 787 Dreamliner flights operate in short- and medium-haul markets below 5,000 km (2,700 nautical miles), showcasing its versatility and efficiency across diverse network segments.
Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, emphasised the suitability of the 787-9 for flydubai’s strategic objectives. “The 787-9 is perfectly suited for the needs of flydubai as it looks to open up longer-range routes and add capacity across its network,” Deal commented. He also highlighted the unique “Dreamliner effect” that flydubai passengers can anticipate – an unparalleled in-flight experience marked by enhanced comfort and a refreshed arrival at their destinations.
Currently operating an all-737 fleet consisting of 79 airplanes, flydubai maintains a robust order backlog of 137 737s. The decision to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner into its fleet aligns with the airline’s vision for expansion and adaptability in a dynamic market.
Looking ahead, Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook forecasts a remarkable growth trajectory for the Middle East airplane fleet, projecting a doubling in size over the next two decades. A significant aspect of this growth is expected to come from widebody airplanes, driven by the region’s increasing prominence as an international air transit hub.
In conclusion, flydubai’s order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners marks a transformative moment in the airline’s history, signalling a strategic shift toward incorporating widebody aircraft into its operations. The move not only reflects the airline’s commitment to innovation but also positions flydubai for sustained growth and enhanced connectivity in the ever-evolving aviation landscape.