Flydubai near deal to order 175 boeing 737 MAX

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(BA) single-aisle jets in a deal worth $27 billion, as the airline looks to expand aggressively beyond the wider Middle East.

Boeing and Aviation Lease & Finance Company have finalised an order for 20 additional 737 MAX 8s at the 2017 Dubai Airshow, doubling the lessor's order book for the MAX airplane. When finalized, the purchase promises to sustain tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in Boeing's US factories and network of suppliers, according to Boeing.

The aircraft will start being delivered from 2020, Boeing Commercial Airplanes sales chief Ihssane Mounir said at a news conference.

With today's announcement, this will bring the total number of aircraft the airline has on order to 320.

The 737 MAX family offers the greatest flexibility, reliability and efficiency in the single-aisle market, with eight per cent lower operating costs than its main competitor.

The Flydubai order comes after Airbus (AIR.FR) had earlier on Wednesday-also at the Dubai Airshow-secured a mammoth $49.5 billion order of 430 jets with airlines linked to Indigo Partners.

"We are extremely honored that flydubai has selected to be an all-Boeing operator for many years to come. This record-breaking agreement builds on our strong partnership with FlyDubai and the other leading carriers of this region", said Boeing commercial airplanes president and chief executive Kevin McAllister.

The 737 Max model purchased by Flydubai is the fastest-selling airplane in the history of Boeing, having surpassed 4,000 orders from 92 customers.