Low-cost carrier Dubai Aviation Corporation, trading as flydubai, has entered a wet lease agreement with Czech Republic-based airline Smartwings to four next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) agreement will be active between 14 December 2019 and 25 January 2020.

The decision to lease the aircraft is a result of the grounding of its 14 Boeing 737 MAX since March.

Flydubai chief executive officer Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “The continued grounding of our MAX aircraft has had a significant impact on our operations with a 30% reduction of our flying schedule.

“We are making every effort to minimise disruption for our passengers and these four additional aircraft will enable more passengers to have more options to travel during the holiday season.”

The leased aircraft will help decrease disruption to passengers and improve capacity during the holiday season. They will be added to the operator’s fleet of 40 Boeing 737-800s.

The carrier is expected to operate the all-economy class aircraft on selected routes such as Bahrain, Muscat, Karachi, Kuwait, Multan, Faisalabad, Prague, Sialkot and Colombo.

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Smartwings CEO Roman Vik said: “This kind of cooperation by wet lease agreement is one of way to achieve even higher and more effective use of our aircraft in winter season when there is lower demand for flying in Europe. We believe that this agreement will intensify the cooperation between both carriers also in the future.”

In a separate development, Dubai Aviation completed a $500m five-year term financing facility.