flydubai (FZ, Dubai Int'l) is open to talks with Airbus over a possible A320neo order given growing uncertainty about how long the global B737 MAX grounding will last.

According to Reuters, airline chairman Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told reporters during the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai this week that with thirteen B737 MAX (eleven B737-8s and two -9s) currently out of service, accounting for 2,170 seats or 21% of its overall capacity, flydubai had had to explore all possibilities.

"That gave me an option to talk to Airbus. You have to understand that we do not have a definite date on when this (MAX) aircraft will be flying," he said. "I have to see when this aircraft will be flying again and what assurances we will be getting, and how much compensation we will get. I don't want the delay to continue."

Al Maktoum did not specify when flydubai would decide on whether it would pursue a replacement order with Airbus.

As of March 31, 2019, flydubai had 237 B737 MAX on order from Boeing including fifty B737-10s and sixty-five B737-8s. The LCC currently relies on a fleet of forty-six B737-800s for its operations.