Saudi carrier flyadeal ditches grounded Boeing MAX for Airbus

Saudi budget carrier flyadeal with its cabin crew. The airline withdrew a provisional order for Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX jets July 7, 2019. — AFP pic
Saudi budget carrier flyadeal with its cabin crew. The airline withdrew a provisional order for Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX jets July 7, 2019. — AFP pic

RIYADH, July 7 — Saudi budget carrier flyadeal has withdrawn a provisional order for Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX jets, the US plane maker said today, as the airline confirmed a new order for Airbus A320 aircraft.

“We understand that flyadeal will not finalise its commitment to the 737 MAX at this time given the airline’s schedule requirements,” a Boeing spokesman said.

The carrier’s provisional order was for “up to 50 MAXs — commitment for 30 and then options for 20 more”, the Boeing spokesman added.

In a separate statement, flyadeal said it will operate an all-A320 fleet.

“flyadeal announces a significant growth to its fleet, with an order for 30 A320 NEO aircraft, and options for a further 20 A320 NEO family aircraft,” the carrier said, adding that deliveries will begin in 2021.

“This is in response to continuing growth in passenger demand across domestic, regional and international routes.”

Boeing is under global scrutiny after crashes of 737 MAX planes operated by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air that claimed a total of 346 lives.

The MAX was grounded globally after the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and there is still no firm timetable for returning the planes to service.

Boeing said Wednesday it would give US$100 million (RM413.5 million) to communities and families affected by the 737 MAX disasters.

Flyeadeal is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines and flies to a range of domestic destinations across the kingdom. — AFP