737 MAX grounding prompts flydubai to sign wet lease agreement with Smartwings
Nov 30, 2019: The continued grounding of its 14 Boeing 737 MAX since March 2019 has prompted Dubai-based carrier flydubai to sign an agreement with Smartwings to wet lease four Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
flydubai's agreement with the Czech Republic-based airline will help minimise further disruption to passengers during the busy seasonal travel period.
Commenting on the agreement, Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer, flydubai said, "The continued grounding of our MAX aircraft has had a significant impact on our operations with a 30 percent reduction of our flying schedule. We are taking every effort to minimise disruption for our passengers and these four additional aircraft will enable more passengers to have more options to travel during the holiday season.”
“We are pleased to have concluded our first wet lease agreement with Smartwings, an IOSA certified (IATA Operational Safety Audit) company with a track record of successful ACMI agreements,” added Al Ghaith.
The all-Economy Class leased aircraft will operate on select routes on the flydubai network including: Bahrain, Colombo, Faisalabad, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Multan, Prague and Sialkot.
"Smartwings is delighted by a new business relationship with flydubai which we value very greatly. This kind of cooperation by wet lease agreement is one way to achieve even higher and more effective use of our aircraft in the winter season when there is lower demand for flying in Europe. We believe that this agreement will intensify the cooperation between both carriers also in the future," said Roman Vik, CEO, Smartwings.
flydubai said in a statement that the grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will not rejoin the operating schedule until it has received regulatory approval by the General Civil Aviation Authority.