After a quiet start with only news about passenger to freighter conversions, Boeing finally announced orders for new aircraft on the third day of Dubai Airshow. However, to none of the two occasions, media was invited. Day 3 Dubai Airshow: Boeing finally gets some new aircraft deals.
The afternoon announcement was for Indian start-up Akasa Air, which plans to launch in the summer of 2022. The airline formed by ex Jet Airways executive Vinay Dube and owned by SNV Aviation had ordered 72 MAX. The exact numbers haven’t been confirmed, but this will be a mix of the MAX 8 and the high-density MAX 8200. This makes Akasa the fifth airline to operate the 8200 after Ryanair and its two subsidiaries Buzz and Malta Air, while Vietjet has also ordered this version with a 200-seat cabin capacity. AirInsight discussed Akasa recently in this webcast.
Boeing calls the order “a key endorsement of the 737 family’s capability to serve the rapidly growing Indian market.” SpiceJet is also a MAX customer, but the market is dominated by Airbus, which has placed huge numbers of A320neo-family aircraft with Indigo and Go Air (now Go First). The MAX order has a list price of nearly $9.0 billion.
In a Boeing media statement, Dube is quoted as saying: “We believe that the new 737 MAX airplane will support our aim of running not just a cost-efficient, reliable and affordable airline, but also an environmentally friendly company with the youngest and greenest fleet in the Indian skies.”
He added, “India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with unparalleled potential. We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead of us. Akasa Air’s core purpose is to help power India’s growth engine and democratize air travel by creating an inclusive environment for all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds.”
Akasa signed a separate order with CFM for the supply of LEAP-1B engines, spare engines, and long-term service agreements valued at $4.5 billion at list prices.
Air Tanzania adds MAX to the fleet
Earlier in the day, Boeing confirmed orders for Air Tanzania. The carrier will add a third 787-8 to its existing Dreamliner fleet. It also ordered one 767-300F, plus two MAX. Boeing didn’t specify the version but from the animated picture it looks like the carrier has selected the MAX 9. The carrier’s current single-aisle fleet consists of just two Airbus A220 as it retired some A320ceo’s and 737-800s.
Air Tanzania plans to use the aircraft from the latest order, which has a list price of $726 million, to expand its network to Africa, Asia, and Europe.