MidEast's biggest no frills carrier aims to ride post unrest rebound
Air Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest discount airline, is adding aircraft to its bases in Morocco and Egypt to capture a rebound in demand for travel following the events of last year’s so-called Arab Spring.
The Sharjah, UAE-based carrier recently added a jet in Alexandria, Egypt and is deploying another this year at its Moroccan base in Casablanca to operate European routes, CEO Adel Ali said in an interview. It will also increase frequencies to Moscow and India.
“The sub-continent area will continue growing, the CIS region will see some growth,” Ali yesterday in Dubai. “I’m sure we’ll see growth quarter-to-quarter in passenger numbers.”
Air Arabia, which operates Airbus SAS A320 single-aisle jets, has taken delivery of one aircraft this year and will get five more, the CEO said. airline has a fleet of 30 planes with 35 yet to be delivered through 2015-2016. Some 44 A320s have been ordered in total, with a list price of US$3.6bn.
The discount carrier, which competes with government-owned flyDubai, reported a 7 percent increase in fourth-quarter net income to AED78.7m (US$21m) on February 25. The number of passenger flying to its near 70 destinations grew 6 percent last year to 4.7m.