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EgyptAir Orders A350s, 737 MAX at Dubai Airshow
The airline is pushing forward in a quest to modernize its fleet.
The Dubai Airshow 2023 has proven to be a stage for historic announcements, and EgyptAir has taken center stage with not one but two major revelations. After introducing its inaugural 737 MAX aircraft, EgyptAir has now positioned itself as the latest Airbus A350-900 customer, underscoring its commitment to a modernized and diversified fleet.
On the first day of the Dubai Airshow 2023, EgyptAir announced a groundbreaking agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for the acquisition of 18 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Set for delivery between 2025 and 2026, these aircraft mark a significant stride in EgyptAir’s pledge to revitalize its fleet, particularly the aging A320 series with an average age of 18 years.
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, CEO of Air Lease Corporation, highlighted the transformative impact of the agreement, stating, “As the leading airline in North Africa, EGYPTAIR will continue to stand out in the market with these 18 new generation Boeing 737-8 aircraft. This move aligns with our commitment to providing the most advanced and fuel-efficient Boeing aircraft, significantly improving airline fleet operations and competitiveness.”
Yehia Zakaria, President and CEO of Egyptair Holding, echoed this sentiment, stating, “This important agreement with ALC for the acquisition of 18 new Boeing 737-8s demonstrates Egyptair’s commitment to the modernization of its fleet, environmental sustainability, and its future growth plans. The 737-8 will greatly benefit Egyptair’s operational efficiency and our passenger experience in the future.”
Building on this momentum, EgyptAir unveiled a second major announcement on the airshow’s second day — an order for ten A350-900 widebodies configured with 340 seats. This order will position the A350s as the airline’s flagship aircraft, signaling a shift from the current operation of six Boeing 777-300ERs. However, the delivery timeline for the A350s has not been disclosed.
Yehia Zakaria, Chairman and CEO of EgyptAir, emphasized the airline’s strategic partnership with Airbus, stating in a press release, “EgyptAir is a key partner of Airbus in the Middle East and Africa. Our focus lies in the enhancement of our fleet to embrace some of the most contemporary aircraft available.”
Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International highlighted the significance of the A350-900 in EgyptAir’s expansion plans. He stated, “Once delivered, the A350-900 will be EgyptAir’s flagship aircraft, adding the world’s most modern and efficient widebody aircraft to the airline’s fleet. This move opens new opportunities, particularly in Western US and the far East.”
The A350-900, with its 340-seat configuration, will complement EgyptAir’s existing Boeing 787-9 fleet, currently consisting of seven aircraft with 300 seats.
EgyptAir’s current fleet comprises 66 active aircraft, with the Boeing 737-800 dominating at 27 jets and are on average eleven and a half years old. The now-leased 737 MAX aircraft are likely to replace the older models. In the long-haul fleet, the four A330-200s are on average over 18 years old, the four A330-300s are twelve and a half years old, and the six Boeing 777-300ERs are just over 13 years old.
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