By Andy Sambidge
Airline chief reveals plan to increase fleet, says 2008 company results will be strong.
Low cost carrier Air Arabia's expansion plans will not be slowed by the global economic crisis, its CEO has revealed.
Adel Ali, chief executive officer, said that his company plans to increase the number of aircrafts operating in the UAE at an annual rate of four to five.
In an interview with CNBC Arabiya, Ali stressed that there would be no reduction in the expansion plans for Air Arabia as approved by the company in its five-year plan.
These growth proposals include four new planes to enter service into 2009 and the opening of a major station for the company in Casablanca, Morocco to transfer passengers to Europe and Africa.
Ali also announced that future flight bookings for the airline during the months of January and February 2009 were very good.
The company's financial results will be announced during the coming weeks, he added, saying Air Arabia was expected to announce good results for 2008, exceeding the previous year’s in terms of operations and passenger numbers.
Ali also predicted that the low-fare airline industry would perform very well in 2009, due to the global economic situation and the trend of cost-cutting.
The company's current fleet consists of 18 aircrafts and will increase to 22 aircrafts in 2009, he said, in addition to the 44 Airbuses entering service from mid-2010.