Industry Flyadeal drops 737 MAX order, buys A320neo instead

Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier Flyadeal has announced to grow its fleet with up to 50 new Airbus aircraft

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Flyadeal has decided to purchase new Airbus A320neo aircraft for its future fleet. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Ghassan Abdulrahman Al-Shibil, Chairman Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation.

In the statement, the carrier wrote that this order will “result in flyadeal operating an all-Airbus A320 fleet in the future,” meaning that the airline has dropped its 737 MAX order.

After the first crash of a 737 MAX in Indonesia, the airline backed the aircraft on Social Media: “The Boeing 737 MAX was selected after a thorough analysis of the safety and efficiency of the aircraft by cross-functional internal committees and aviation experts. Our commercial evaluation also confirmed the suitability of the aircraft for flyadeal’s future growth plans,” Flyadeal released on Twitter.

But after the second MAX aircraft crashed in Ethiopia, the carrier began to think about its previously made commitment toward the 737 MAX. The airline initially intended to take over 30 aircraft, which are worth US$ 5.9 billion according to list prices.

Now, Flyadeal released that 30 new A320neo aircraft will join the fleet from 2021 onward. In addition, the airline holds purchase rights for 20 more airframes. With this all-Airbus fleet, Flyadeal seeks to continually grow its operations. Not only the domestic market, but also international routes will be flown more frequently.

The carrier was founded and launched in 2017 as low-cost subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines. After this latest order, the airline wrote: "The additional aircraft are part of the dual brand strategy of the Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation where flyadeal serves the price conscious customer that is seeking Everyday Low Fares."

The order war initially signed on the Paris Air Show, where Saudi Arabian Airlines signed for 100 aircraft.

Flyadeal currently operates with a fleet of 11 factory new A320-200s. Headquarters of the airline are at Jeddah King Abdulaziz International airport. Currently, the airline serves destinations like Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Tabuk and Medina.

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