Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world’s biggest aircraft leasing companies, is expanding its Boeing 737 MAX portfolio, as air travel is starting to show “strong signs” of recovery.
The lessor, which had been buying MAX aircraft from existing customers and leasing them back to airlines, has just placed an order for 15 units of 737-8 jets with Boeing, a statement said on Tuesday.
The announcement comes as regulators have cleared the 737 MAX jets to fly again. The jets were grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes.
DAE’s new order is the Dubai-based firm’s first direct 737 MAX purchase from Boeing, a joint statement from the American plane-maker and DAE said.
“An increasing number of global aviation regulators are returning the MAX to the skies. We are confident in the success of these aircraft as domestic and regional air travel are seeing strong signs of recovery,” said Firoz Tarapore, chief executive officer of DAE.
Last year, DAE signed an agreement with American Airlines to purchase and lease back 18 new 737-8 airplanes. Since the deal, the lessor has delivered 17 of the jets to the US carrier.
The lessor had also previously completed a similar purchase-leaseback deal with Brazilian carrier GOL for five 737-8s.
The 737-8 is part of the 737 MAX family which is designed for improved fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility in the single-aisle market. It can fly 3,550 nautical miles, or about 600 miles farther than its predecessor, allowing airlines to offer new and more direct passenger services.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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