flydubai, Dubai's first low cost airline, has signed a deal to finance four Boeing B737-800 aircraft (worth US$320m list), with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). The sale and leaseback agreement covers the aircraft due to be delivered to flydubai from Boeing in 2009, with two expected in July, one in October and one in December.
flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “This is a significant deal for flydubai as it is the first financing that we have secured from outside the UAE. This deal ensures our financing needs for the rest of 2009 when we will receive a further four aircraft from Boeing. This will bring our fleet to a total of six aircraft by the end of the year and allow flydubai to operate to around 14 destinations, subject to achieving the necessary government approvals.”
Norman C. T. Liu, GECAS’ newly named President & CEO, said: “This is a major achievement, the product of excellent work between our two teams - we wish flydubai every success in this new venture."
flydubai was announced by the Government of Dubai in March 2008 with a start-up capital of AED250m. An historic order at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2008, saw flydubai become the biggest customer in the Middle East of the 737-800, with an order book of 50 at a list price of approximately US$4bn. The first two of these aircraft arrived in May and went into service at the beginning of June. This financing deal covers the next four aircraft that flydubai will receive.
flydubai has announced flights to eight destinations across the Middle East, North Africa and India, and currently operates to four – Beirut (Lebanon), Amman (Jordan), Damascus (Syria) and Alexandria (Egypt).
The first two aircraft covered by this deal will arrive in July and will service flydubai’s recently announced Indian routes of Lucknow, Coimbatore and Chandigarh.
The flydubai model is simple, with customers paying only for the services they want to receive. The ticket price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10kg, per passenger.
Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just AED40 for the first piece and AED100 for the second, weighing up to 32kgs, subject to availability. Checked baggage at the airport is also strictly subject to availability and passengers are advised to book online early to secure the space, as only pre-purchased baggage can be guaranteed.
A nominal payment of AED5 allows customers to select their seat and just AED50 secures the extra legroom positions. Bookings can be changed for a small fee, plus any difference in the fare, and food and drink can be purchased on board.
flydubai operates from a modernised and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.