By Andy Sambidge
Low cost carrier says it will start serving Med coast city of Antalya from July 29
Low-cost carrier Air Arabia has announced plans to launch non-stop services to the city of Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, in the south west of Turkey.
The new service from the carrier's primary hub in Sharjah marks Air Arabia's second destination in Turkey and 89th worldwide.
From July 29, Air Arabia will offer three weekly flights to Antalya, the airline said in a statement.
"The new regular service to Antalya is a testament to Air Arabia's commitment to providing affordable holiday destinations to passengers travelling from the UAE," said Adel Ali, Group CEO, Air Arabia.
"Antalya, our second Turkish destination, is one of the most visited cities in terms of international arrivals, behind Paris and London, and this route provides a great opportunity for visitors to experience the rich culture and beauty of the Turkish Riviera."
Flights will depart Sharjah International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The launch of Antalya complements Air Arabia's seven weekly flights to the historic city of Istanbul, a route launched in 2006.
In June 2009, the airline expanded Turkish operations to connect Istanbul to its Casablanca hub in Morocco. Today, the low cost pioneer operates four weekly non-stop services between Istanbul and Casablanca.
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.For all the latest travel 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.