We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Fri 15 Jan 2010 04:28 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Air Arabia Airbus order might not be enough - exec

Low-cost carrier has already ordered 44 Airbus aircraft over the next five years.

Air Arabia Airbus order might not be enough - exec
FLYING HIGH: Air Arabias expansion plans mean it could need more. (Getty Images)

Low-cost carrier Air Arabia has ordered 44 Airbus aircraft over the next five years but its expansion plans mean it could need more, a senior company executive said.

The largest Arab airline by market value operates out of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, but opened a new hub in Morocco last year. It is launching a new budget carrier with an Egyptian partner and setting up a third hub in Alexandria.

"At least in the next couple of years we see our demand for airplanes outstripping the schedule," Rohit Ramachandran, chief operating officer of Air Arabia's Moroccan unit, told Reuters.

"We might even have to go outside. But we are in a good position right now because good aeroplanes are available cheap."

He said Air Arabia Maroc, which flies from Casablanca to mostly European destinations, hoped to begin services to West Africa this year if regulatory hurdles are overcome.

Air Arabia has 100 percent management control over its Moroccan arm but shares ownership with Bahrain's Ithmar Bank and a group of Moroccan investors including Holmarcom and banker Othmane Benjelloun's Finance.com.

Ramachandran said he planned to add two planes to the airline's Casablanca fleet this year and, if market conditions permit, would then add three planes a year to reach 17-20 planes, rivalling the Sharjah operation in scale.

"That is not counting expansion if we position planes in other cities in Morocco," he said. "It's a matter of time before we start doing that."

He said the busy southern tourist city of Marrakesh would be an obvious candidate. (Reuters)

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Sanjeev Vijayan 10 years ago

Hope they get some A321's. It will do well in their expansion plans as well as look great in their livery. Go Air Arabia!!!