Dubai’s new low-cost carrier unveiled the order on 14 July, the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. The airline also announced an arrangement to lease a further four 737s from the Australian leasing group Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management.

FlyDubai was launched by the Dubai government in March and expects to begin flights by the middle of 2009, launching into a rapidly expanding Middle East low-cost market.

The airline claims that the next generation 737-800, which has a flying range of 4.5 hours, will give it access to approximately 2 billion passengers in Europe, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.