FlyDubai, the state-owned low-cost airline, is in talks with Boeing Co. (BA:US) and Airbus SAS to buy about 50 narrow-body aircraft, the carrier’s chairman said.
“We are talking about another 50 aircraft,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is also the chairman of Emirates, told reporters in Dubai today. “If the team reaches a decision, we hope to make an announcement at the Dubai Air Show.” The airline is looking at Boeing 737s and Airbus 320 models, he said.
FlyDubai, which began operations in 2009, is joining Air Arabia PJSC and Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways KSC in expanding their share of the low-cost market in Middle East air travel. FlyDubai operates to more than 50 destinations across the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe, with a fleet of 28 Boeing 737-800 NG jets.
FlyDubai had a profit 152 million dirhams ($41 million) last year, on sales of 2.8 billion dirhams, Sheikh Ahmed said. The airline will use its own cash, export-import bank facilities and lease-back options to finance expansion, he said.
The Dubai Air Show this year will be held Nov. 17-21, according to the organiser’s website.
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