Middle Eastern carrier Flydubai is expecting to take delivery of 12 Boeing 737 Max jets this year, having received four fewer aircraft than planned in 2023.

Flydubai attributes last year’s shortfall to “ongoing challenges” with the manufacturer’s delivery schedule.

It took steps to mitigate the delays by introducing six wet-leased aircraft through an agreement with Czech-based carrier Smartwings.

Flydubai took delivery of 13 aircraft in 2023 and ended the year with a fleet of 84 737s, comprising 52 Max 8s, three Max 9s and 29 737-800s. Three -800s were returned to lessors.

Flydubai 737-c-Flydubai

Source: Flydubai

Flydubai is continuing to receive 737 Max jets as it prepares for 787 arrivals in 2026

The delivery issues did not have a noticeable effect on the carrier’s financial performance.

Flydubai expanded its network to 122 destinations, and transported 13.8 million passenger, a rise of more than 30%.

This enabled it to generate full-year revenues of Dhs11.2 billion ($3 billion) and a record net profit of Dhs2.1 billion, despite fuel accounting for 32% of expenditure. Flydubai says it hedged 12% of its fuel last year and “continues to explore fuel-hedging options”.

“The decision to accelerate its aircraft deliveries during the pandemic, preserve its workforce and to move forward with its ambitious network expansion plans has proven to be the correct strategy for the carrier, resulting in its strongest-ever performance,” says chair Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Flydubai is preparing to expand its fleet into the widebody sector following an order for 30 Boeing 787s at the most recent Dubai air show, deliveries of which will commence in 2026.