Dubai’s flydubai leases Boeing 737-800s ahead of busy travel period

The leased aircraft will operate on select routes including Bahrain, Colombo, Faisalabad, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Multan, Prague and Sialkot

Image Courtesy: WAM

Dubai carrier flydubai has finalised the wet lease of four Boeing 737-800 aircrafts with Czech Republic-based airline, Smartwings, to bolster its capacity during the upcoming busy travel period.

The aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) agreement with Smartwings, will see the leased aircrafts support flydubai’s fleet of 40 Boeing 737-800s, a statement said.

The wet lease of the aircrafts is between December 14 and January 25, 2020, and the aircraft will fly on select routes including Bahrain, Colombo, Faisalabad, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Multan, Prague and Sialkot, the statement said.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at flydubai, said: “The continued grounding of our MAX aircraft has had a significant impact on our operations with a 30 per cent 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.”

“This kind of cooperation by wet lease agreement is one of way to achieve even higher and more effective use of our aircraft in winter season when there is lower demand for flying in Europe. We believe that this agreement will intensify the cooperation between both carriers also in the future, ” said Roman Vik, CEO, Smartwings.

Flydubai completed 10 years of operations in 2019, having flown its first flight to Beirut on June 1, 2009.

Pictures: Flydubai completes 10 years of operations

In September, flydubai announced that effective October 27, flights to seven additional destinations – Almaty, Basra, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nur-Sultan, Sofia, and Zanzibar – will move from its current operating base of Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 at Dubai International (DXB).

Read more: Flydubai adds seven additional destinations to Dubai airport’s Terminal 3

Flydubai reported a loss of Dhs196.7m ($53.6m) for the first half of 2019, as the grounding of all of its MAX jets – accounting for approximately 10 per cent of its fleet – impacted operations considerably.

Read more: Flydubai posts $53.6m H1 loss as Boeing 737 MAX grounding impacts operations