Flydubai is evaluating the re-engined single-aisles from Airbus and Boeing, along with the Bombardier CSeries, as it prepares an order to replace its existing 737NG fleet and to cater for expansion.
"We are talking to both Airbus and Boeing about the A320neo and the 737 Max. We are having direct engagements with both about an evaluation to facilitate an order for replacement and expansion," says chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London, Al Ghaith said the evaluation was motivated by the availability of the re-engined types, and that the airline was in no rush to place an order. "We don't yet have a timeframe for the order as we won't receive the last of the 50 737-800s we have on order until 2016," he added.
Bombardier, which is offering a version of its CSeries CS300 to the low-cost sector configured with in a high-density 160-seat layout, is also in the evaluation. The 160-seater is sized to counter the smaller 156-seat A319neo and 149-seat 737 Max 7 variants rather than the larger A320/A321neo and 737 Max 8/9 which seat 180 passengers or more in a one-class layout.
"We are talking with Bombardier too, but not in the same depth because our 737-800s have 189 seats and we still not convinced we could have an aircraft as small as the CSeries," says Al Ghaith.