UAE's Air Arabia to launch flights to Egyptian capital

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Low cost carrier Air Arabia has announced plans to strengthen connectivity between the UAE and Egypt with the launch of non-stop services to Cairo, the capital city.

The new service from the carrier's primary hub in Sharjah marks Air Arabia's fifth destination in Egypt and 90th worldwide.

From February 27, Air Arabia said it will offer three weekly flights to Cairo.

Flights will depart Sharjah International Airport on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Adel Ali, Group CEO, Air Arabia, said: "Egypt is a key market for Air Arabia, and by strengthening our connectivity with the country, we are further contributing to the growing bilateral ties between the UAE and Egypt.

"With tourism and trade in Egypt gathering momentum and led by the strong population of Egyptians who work and live in the UAE, our new service to Cairo will only add value to both nations."

He added: "The capital city is one of the world's most historically and culturally rich destination, and we are confident that our new service to Cairo will offer our customers an ideal opportunity to travel between both countries."

Air Arabia currently connects passengers from Sharjah to Alexandria, Assuit, Luxor and Sohag in Egypt.

The airline said there has been a "significant level" of demand for Air Arabia's Egypt services over the past years.

Air Arabia, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, currently operates services to 90 destinations covering the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent from three operating hubs in Sharjah, UAE; Alexandria, Egypt; and Casablanca, Morocco.

In November, Air Arabia, reported a 9 percent drop in third-quarter net profit on Monday, missing analyst forecasts.

The Sharjah-based carrier made a net profit of AED206m ($56 million) in the third quarter, compared with AED226m in the corresponding period in 2012.

Three analysts polled by Reuters had forecast profit of AED241.3m for the quarter.

The low-cost carrier cited a seasonal slowdown in travel during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, which was from July to August this year.

Revenue reached AED854m, an increase of 6 percent from a year ago.

Air Arabia carried 1.5 million passengers in the quarter, an increase of 11 percent year-on-year, it said.

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