Maiden MAX for flydubai

Low-cost carrier flydubai has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, A6-MAX (c/n 60966).  The aircraft, the first of 76 the airline has on order, was handed over on July 31 making flydubai the first operator of the type in the Middle East.

“We are delighted to receive our first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from our order made at the Dubai Airshow in 2013,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai.  “This marked the largest single-aisle Boeing aircraft order placed in the Middle East.  With this new chapter, we are looking forward to continuing our work with Boeing as we benefit from increased efficiency and are able to offer an enhanced customer experience.”

Flydubai operates an all-Boeing fleet, with 58 737-800s already in service on a network that stretches from the Czech Republic in the west to Thailand in the east and as far north as Russia and Tanzania to the south.

The airline has 76 MAX 8s on order. (Photo flydubai)

“Flydubai’s growth in just nine years has been remarkable and Boeing is honoured to have been part of this journey,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.  “This delivery marks another significant milestone in our partnership.  We are confident that the market-leading efficiency and reliability of the 737 MAX will play a key role in flydubai’s continued success and complement its current Boeing fleet.”

The aircraft was handed over to flydubai on July 31. (Photo flydubai)

Ken Gile, Chief Operating Officer, flydubai, added: “As the first MAX customer in the region, we look forward to the further fuel and operating efficiencies that this aircraft will bring to our young, modern fleet.  Our flight crew share our excitement in operating one of the most highly anticipated commercial aircraft to enter service on our network.”

Germany Increases Aid for Mosul by $117m

Germany has announced an additional $117 million (100 million Euros) in aid to help rebuild the city of Mosul following its liberation from IS; much of the city is in ruins after months of fighting between government forces and IS for control of the city.

The German government has stated that it will massively step up its financial aid to Mosul after its liberation from the IS, who held the city for three years.

German Development Minister, Gerd Mueller (pictured), announced the additional funding in an interview on July 25, which also reported that Germany had up to now invested some $60 million in stabilizing areas around Mosul and its outlying areas.

Mueller said that German support had already enabled more than 60,000 children in Mosul to go to school again and provided 150,000 people with access to vital drinking water.

Most people who had fled from IS have remained in the region and want to return to the city, according to Mueller, who has recently visited a refugee camp in the area.

(Source: GardaWorld)

New Iraqi Child and Adolescent Health Strategy (2018-2020)

Under the Patronage of Her Excellency the Minister of Health & Environment Dr Adeelah Hamoud Hussien, the Public Health Directorate (PHD) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nation Children’s’ Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched on 20 July 2017 the National Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Strategy (RMNCAH) 2018–2020.

The strategy was developed in alignment with the national development plans and strategies to map the road for galvanizing actions to achieve the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) for health in Iraq.

With the present diverse health challenges and public health risks and threats such as disease outbreaks and high maternal and child mortality rates, the community of health professionals in Iraq needs an updated national RMNCAH strategy (2018–2020) that would support stepping up joint efforts to complete the unfinished work of the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs).

The RMNCAH strategy aims to address the inequities among underserved areas in Iraq, stricter compliance to measurement and monitoring of progress, the inclusion of the humanitarian aspects and adherence to the 2030 agenda for SDGs, particularly those related to the health of women, children and adolescents, and the inclusion of innovative approaches for monitoring progress during the implementation of the RMNCA strategy 2018–-2020.

Together with the national health authorities and civil society, WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA will work to support the government of Iraq with the necessary technical and operational modalities to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and adolescents in the country.

(Source: WHO)

More A321s for Cebu Pacific

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has placed an order for seven Airbus A321ceos, topping up its existing commitment for 32 A321neos.  The Manila-based airline says the aircraft are required to meet strong growth on its domestic and regional network, with the first airframes due to join the fleet next year.

“We are very excited about adding the A321 to our fleet,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and CEO.  “The aircraft will enable us to increase capacity on popular routes, while at the same time benefiting from the lowest operating costs in this size category.  This will mean more low fares for more customers flying across our domestic and regional network.”

Cebu Pacific operates an all-Airbus fleet of 36 A320s, four A319s and eight A330-300s, serving more than 60 destinations in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and the US (Guam).

“We are pleased to sign this additional order with one of the most successful airlines in the Asian region,” said John Leahy, Airbus COO, Customers.  “With the A321, Cebu Pacific will be able to respond to growing demand with the highest levels of efficiency.”

Double Delight for Embraer

Embraer Executive Jets announced two significant deals during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva this week.  The first saw Air Hamburg announced as the launch customer for the new Legacy 650E.  The German charter operator has placed an order for three aircraft, valued at $77.7m, based on current list prices, with delivery of the first example scheduled for the third quarter.

“The Legacy 650E is an obvious choice, considering the unparalleled experience that our current fleet of Legacy 600/650 already provides our customers on their flights to destinations throughout Europe, Russia, and the Middle East,” said Simon Ebert, Partner, Air Hamburg.  “The new version of this proven platform best serves our growth plan by continuing to offer a premium charter service with the latest technologies onboard one of the industry’s most comfortable and reliable business jets.”

Air Hamburg’s fleet includes a total of 11 Embraer aircraft, comprising eight Legacy 600/650s, one Legacy 500 and two Phenom 300s.

Embraer’s second deal saw Surf Air Europe select the Phenom 300 as the launch platform for its operations.  The aircraft will be managed by FlairJet, the UK-based management arm of Flexjet, and maintained by Embraer Executive Jets.  Californian-based membership carrier Surf Air plans to launch its European operations next month.

“I am excited to forge this partnership with FlairJet, given that our business objectives to further expand European operations on both fronts align significantly,” said Simon Talling-Smith, CEO, of Surf Air Europe.  “This is an important move as we work to expand our footprint globally and bring our successful and innovative product from the US to new members in the growing intra-European business travel market.”

Peter Griffith, SVP Sales, Europe, CIS & Africa at Embraer Executive Jets added: “We have enjoyed a long relationship with FlairJet and Flexjet that embodies some of our most popular products.  We have jointly pioneered many initiatives together that continue to reshape the market.”

Jambojet Lines up Q400s

Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC) has converted an option on a Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 turboprop into a firm order after agreeing to lease the aircraft to Jambojet, the low-cost subsidiary of Kenya Airways. The lessor now has two Q400s on firm order with both aircraft destined to fly with the Kenyan carrier.

“This agreement for these next generation turboprops signifies a key development in IFC’s international leasing business,” said Alexander Rubtsov, Director General, IFC. “The demand for high-performance turboprops, such as the Q400, continues to expand and we are pleased to enter into this new lease with Jambojet.”

Jambojet, which already operates two Q400s, is expected to receive the first aircraft this month with the second scheduled for delivery later this year.

“We are impressed with the level of professionalism that IFC exhibited throughout the process that led to this first agreement, and are delighted to have found a trusted and reliable partner to support our development plans,” said Willem Hondius, CEO, Jambojet. “The Q400 aircraft’s performance has exceeded our expectations on all fronts.  With its low operating costs and best-in-class passenger experience, the Q400 turboprop has helped us optimise and expand our operations and is undeniably the backbone of Jambojet’s growth strategy.”

Jean-Paul Boutibou, VP, Sales, Middle East and Africa at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, added: “We are proud of the Q400 aircraft continued success in Africa. Jambojet’s operations illustrate the capabilities and qualities of the Q400 aircraft that make it uniquely suitable for the region.  The Q400 is a valuable asset for owners and operators, and we are confident that IFC and Jambojet will find many more opportunities to mutually benefit from the aircraft’s outstanding economics and performance.”