Boeing announced an order of 45 737 MAX aircraft from budget carrier SunExpress on Monday at the Dubai Air Show, where a number of major deals could be signed this week.
The order for 45 planes — 28 737-8s and 17 737-10s — includes options that could extend to 90 aircraft, potentially more than doubling the Turkish-German carrier’s fleet of 66.
The ordered planes’ list price would value the deal at more than $5 billion, although usually discounts are negotiated for large orders.
“It’s the largest order in the history of SunExpress,” Max Kownatzki, CEO of the low-cost joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, said at the signing ceremony.
“We’re very happy to have the MAX aircraft for fuel efficiency reasons, for sustainability reasons.”
Dubai’s Emirates airline is also tipped to announce new orders this week, while speculation is swirling about Turkish Airlines after reports it is poised to book about 350 craft.
A bumper week of deals would underline the sector’s recovery from the Covid pandemic, which caused havoc in the sector as international travel ground to a halt.
Last week Emirates Group announced record half-year net profits of 10.1 billion AED ($2.7 billion), up 138 percent from a year earlier, driven by strong demand.
The company unveiled record annual profits of $3 billion in May.
The Middle East’s biggest airline posted a $5.5 billion loss in Covid-ravaged 2020-2021, its first in more than three decades, after grounding its fleet and making heavy lay-offs.
Its losses shrank to $1.1 billion in 2021-2022.
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