Saudi airline Flyadeal’s decision on Boeing MAX “imminent”: CEO

Flyadeal is owned by the Saudi government through state carrier Saudia, and started operations in 2017. (AFP/File)
Updated 28 April 2019

Saudi airline Flyadeal’s decision on Boeing MAX “imminent”: CEO

  • The airline is reconsidering the purchase after the Ethiopia plane crash
  • The deal between Flyadeal and Boeing was worth $5.9m

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian budget airline Flyadeal's decision on whether it goes ahead with an order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets is “imminent,” its chief executive said on Sunday.
The airline is reconsidering the order after two MAX jets fatally crashed in Ethiopia in March and in Indonesia in October.
“We’ve kept an open position in terms of which way we will go on fleet given the situation with the MAX,” Con Korfiatis told Reuters at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai.
“At the moment we still don’t have a decision but it is imminent.”
Flyadeal has ordered 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s with purchasing options for 20 more in a deal Boeing said was worth $5.9 billion at list prices.
The airline, owned by the Saudi Arabian government through state carrier Saudia, has not finalized contractual terms and would be able to cancel the order if it wants to do so.
“It was effectively on the basis of an MoU (memorandum of understanding) subject to final agreements. We haven’t signed final contracts,” Korfiatis said in an interview.
Flyadeal would order the Airbus A320neo, a comparative narrow-body jet it had considered when selecting the MAX, if it cancels the Boeing deal, he said.
Switching the order would not significantly affect the airline’s expansion plans because due to a production backlog, it would have to wait several years to receive the new Boeing jets.
Flyadeal, which operates 11 older, leased A320ceo aircraft, had planned to lease aircraft as it waited for the new planes.
The airline, which started flights in 2017, expects to have a fleet of around 50 leased and ordered aircraft by 2025, Korfiatis said.
The MAX is currently banned from flying in most countries after a total of 346 died in the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.
Boeing is developing a software fix and new pilot training for regulatory approval in order to get the company’s best-selling plane recertified.
The additional training that Boeing is developing would be “relatively incremental” to what was already required, Korfiatis said, meaning associated costs are unlikely to be significantly more.
Korfiatis praised Boeing’s communications with customers since the March crash that grounded the plane.
“Obviously this a significant issue for them and they are managing it very professionally.”


UAE dives into Lake Manzala project

Updated 21 September 2020

UAE dives into Lake Manzala project

  • Egyptian campaign aims to return the lake to its previous state and revive local fishing industry

CAIRO: The UAE National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) has announced that it won the rights to the expansion project of Lake Manzala in Egypt, valued at 600 million UAE dirhams ($163 million).

The company’s announcement of the new project came following a disclosure published on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange website. It ensures compliance with the principle of disclosure and transparency in force in the UAE.

Lake Manzala is one of Egypt’s largest natural lakes. It is known for its potential fishing opportunities, as it has the basis for high fish stocks due to natural nutrients and a moderate climate throughout the year. It produces about half of the natural fish production in lakes.

The lake has witnessed neglect in recent years, losing much of its importance and wealth. In May 2017 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched a national project to develop Egyptian lakes, with a key focus on Lake Manzala.

NMDC said in a statement that winning the project came through its partnership with the Egyptian-Emirati Challenge Company. It said that it will take about two years to implement the project.

NMDC is one of the leading companies in the field of dredging, land reclamation and civil and marine construction in the Middle East. The Lake Manzala development project aims to improve the quality of water to restore free fishing and return the lake to its previous state, which will boost the local market and export output.

President El-Sisi said that Lake Manzala will contribute to enhancing Egypt’s fishing industry, and export operations will be activated after its full development. He directed the border governorates, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces, to remove all encroachments and criminal outposts on the lake.

Several days ago, Dakahlia governorate completed a difficult operation to remove encroachments on the lake. A large campaign that used Armed Forces Engineering Authority equipment removed 301 houses in the Abdo El-Salhy area in El-Matareya city, known as the “fishermen’s land,” which was built on areas that were filled in from the lake. The operation occurred after local fishermen were persuaded to obtain compensation for vacating their houses.

Magdy Zaher, executive director of Manzala Lake, said that the engineering authority used 320 excavators and 20 imported suction dredgers to work in the lake.

The authority dredged the upper islands isolated from the water with the help of an Emirati bulldozing company to increase the efficiency and purification of Lake Manzala.

Zaher said the lake project will require several steps.

The most important is the removal of encroachments on the water surface and doubling its area to 250,000 feddans, he said. Dredging and deepening the lake, opening the gates and extending the radial channels to allow Mediterranean waters to enter the lake will follow, he added.

A safety belt will come in the form of a road 80 km long and 30 meters wide, which will surround the lake and prevent future encroachments. It will also divert the course of the Bahr El-Baqar water treatment plant, which pours 12 million cubic meters of sanitary, industrial and agricultural drainage into the lake, Zaher said.