Kuwait's Jazeera Airways is not ruling out a complete switch of aircraft type to the Boeing 737 Max as part of its development plan.
Jazeera exclusively operates Airbus A320-family jets and is holding discussions on future requirements, with a view to taking a decision next year.
The carrier has had "conversations" with Airbus regarding long-range single-aisle variants, said chief executive Rohit Ramachandran, speaking to FlightGlobal in London.
Jazeera will maintain a single-type fleet but he says the airline will not necessarily remain loyal to Airbus through the next phase of its modernisation.
"I'm interested in the best deal," he says, hinting that Boeing has been particularly competitive in its efforts to restore airline enthusiasm for the 737 Max following its extensive grounding.
He says the airline – which will have 13 aircraft by the end of this year, and 16 next year – is looking to take its fleet to 23 by 2022.
Jazeera has developed its fleet gradually, he states: "We've consciously taken the decision to avoid placing large aircraft orders."
The airline ordered 30 A320s in 2007, early in its development, but much of this order was subsequently cancelled, and Jazeera's expansion has since been more modest with its fleet expansion.
"We're very realistic," says Ramachandran. "Growth is easy. Anyone can order aircraft and open new routes – it doesn't take skill, it just takes money."
He says the carrier has picked up "distressed units" from manufacturers and lessors – aircraft which have not been taken up by original customers.
One A320neo, he says, bound for a Chinese carrier, was picked up from an Irish lessor because the Chinese authorities, at the time, at had not certified the CFM International Leap-1A engine.
"We swooped in and got it for a killer price," says Ramachandran.
Such a strategy is effective while the airline remains small in scale, he points out. "There's no ego involved. We don’t need large signing ceremonies and press releases," he says.
"We don’t judge on fleet size or network, we judge on operational excellence and return to shareholders."