SunExpress Kicks Off Dubai Airshow 2023 with Major Boeing 737 MAX Order

SunExpress, the Turkey-based low-cost carrier, has made a splash at the Dubai Airshow 2023 by placing an order for up to 90 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This significant deal, which includes 45 firm orders and an option for 45 more, marks SunExpress as the first airline to announce a major order at this year’s event. The order is a substantial boost for Boeing’s best-selling narrowbody and is anticipated to be a precursor to several other major announcements from various carriers during the week-long trade show.

SunExpress, an all-Boeing 737 operator, has a current fleet comprising 50 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (NG) and 11 737 MAX aircraft. The latest addition to its fleet arrived in December 2022. This new order not only reaffirms SunExpress’s commitment to the Boeing 737 MAX series but also underscores its confidence in the model. With 33 unfilled orders for the 737 MAX 8 already in place, the carrier is now expanding its fleet with the Boeing 737 MAX 10, the largest jet in the 737 MAX family.

Photo by Andreas Spaeth via X

Historic Expansion for SunExpress

The excitement surrounding SunExpress’s announcement was palpable when CEO Max Kownatzki described the order as a “historic moment” for the airline. The firm order of 45 aircraft is split between 28 737 MAX 8 and 17 MAX 10 models. The specifics of how the optional 45 aircraft will be divided between the two models remain undisclosed, adding an element of intrigue to the deal.

Kownatzki’s remarks highlighted the significance of this expansion for SunExpress, noting the potential to double its fleet in the next decade. This ambitious growth plan is reflective of the airline’s strong position in the market and its readiness to scale up operations. The CEO also emphasized the longstanding relationship with Boeing, marked by trust and collaboration, particularly during challenging times in the industry.

Enhancing Fleet and Passenger Capacity

The addition of the Boeing 737 MAX 10 to SunExpress’s fleet is notable for its capacity to carry over 200 passengers, marking another historic milestone in the airline’s 33-year history. This increased capacity aligns with SunExpress’s strategy to grow its operations and offer enhanced services to its passengers. SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa Group and Turkish Airlines, continues to build on its reputation as a key player in the industry with these latest acquisitions.

Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), expressed his enthusiasm for continuing Boeing’s relationship with SunExpress. He recalled a significant moment during the 2019 Dubai Airshow when SunExpress’s former CEO exercised options for 10 737 MAX 8 aircraft, even while the model was grounded, underscoring the airline’s commitment to and trust in Boeing.

SunExpress: A Dedication to Boeing Aircraft

SunExpress Boeing 737 MAX Order Dubai Airshow 2023
Photo by Niclas Rebbelmund | @niclashco

SunExpress, established in 1990, has grown to service 92 destinations across 34 countries with a fleet predominantly composed of Boeing 737 aircraft. Despite facing delivery delays, which led to the temporary wet leasing of seven Airbus A320 aircraft, the airline’s allegiance to Boeing remains steadfast. SunExpress’s initial order for the 737 MAX in February 2014, and its decision to firm up options for additional aircraft during the 2019 Dubai Airshow amid the model’s grounding, are testaments to its confidence in Boeing’s ability to deliver safe and efficient aircraft.

A Promising Start to Dubai Airshow 2023

SunExpress’s major order for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has set a high bar for the Dubai Airshow 2023, indicating a positive outlook for both the airline and Boeing. This order is not just a significant expansion for SunExpress but also a strong endorsement of the Boeing 737 MAX series. As the airshow progresses, the aviation world eagerly anticipates further announcements and developments.

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