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A Flydubai 737 MAX 8 performing a test flight at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

flydubai To Reintroduce Boeing 737 MAX Into Service

Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai has announced it is returning some of its 14 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to commercial service on April 8.

The carrier will start operating four Boeing 737 MAX 8s and one 737 MAX 9 in early April after the aircraft have received regulatory approval to rejoin the fleet by the U.A.E’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The remaining nine aircraft — seven MAX 8s and two MAX 9s — will rejoin the fleet over the coming months.

Troubled Return

The aircraft had been temporarily grounded in March 2018 after two accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia that claimed 346 lives were determined to have been caused by the flawed design of a new feature introduced by Boeing on their latest aircraft type. This new feature, termed the Maneuvering Capabilities Augmentation System (MCAS), was ideated to help pilots overcome the issues potentially arising from a more advanced center of gravity than in older Boeing 737 NG models due to heavier engines.

The Boeing 737 MAX has been the object of severe scrutiny from aviation regulators around the world and after a series of modifications were made both to the MCAS software and to other features of the aircraft, it is being progressively reintroduced into commercial service by airlines around the world.

“The MAX is integral to flydubai’s fleet and we are confident in the aircraft and its capabilities. I would like to commend the GCAA for their tireless pursuit of air safety and the diligent work undertaken by the flydubai team to ensure the safe return of the MAX aircraft to passenger service,” commented Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai in a statement.

Two-class configuration

The first flight operated with a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be from Dubai to Sialkot, Pakistan.

“We are pleased to see the MAX aircraft rejoin our fleet. While the aircraft’s first flight will be from Dubai to Sialkot, they will operate to a number of flydubai’s destinations over the coming weeks. We look forward to reintroducing our MAX product which includes a spacious lie flat bed in Business Class and an ergonomically designed seat in Economy Class and improved in-flight entertainment with full HD touchscreens,” Chief Commercial Officer Hamad Obaidalla said:

All passengers booked on a flight scheduled to be operated by a MAX aircraft will be notified in advance and will be able to change their reservation if they wish to do so. flydubai’s MAX 8s is configured with 10 lie-flat business class seats and 156 economy class seats for a total capacity of 166 passengers, and the three MAX 9 aircraft have six additional business class seats, for a total of 172 seats.

Author

  • Vanni fell in love with commercial aviation during his undergraduate studies in Statistics at the University of Bologna, when he prepared his thesis on the effects of deregulation on the U.S. and European aviation markets. Then he pursued his passion further by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University in the U.K. followed by holding several management positions at various start-up carriers in Europe (Jet2, SkyEurope, Silverjet). After moving to Canada, he was Business Development Manager for IATA for nine years before turning to his other passion: sports writing.

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