flydubai (FZ, Dubai Int'l) chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith has confirmed the Dubai-based budget carrier will take delivery of its first B737-9 during the second half of this year.

flydubai currently has 245 B737 MAX due from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) of which at least fifty have been confirmed to be B737-10s and at least seventy have been confirmed to be B737-8s.

Al-Ghaith told The National on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market that he expects to add a total of seven B737 MAX 8 and 9s this year alone. "Four [B737-800] aircraft have been retired for the first time since the launch of operations in 2009," he added.

flydubai currently operates six B737-8s and fifty-five B737-800s on flights to 100 destinations in 47 countries across Africa, Europe, and Asia from its Dubai Int'l hub.

According to Al-Ghaith, given the burgeoning size of its fleet, flydubai is considering building its own maintenance facilities although he did not specify which airport would be used.

On that note, he said contrary to previous reports that have indicated a full-on move from Dubai International to Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum would be completed by year-end 2017, flydubai will now split its operations between the two airports.

“We already have operations in Al Maktoum, and we will grow our operations in Al Maktoum and we will operate in both airports. The word is not ‘move,’ it's ‘expanding’ in both airports,” he said.