Sharjah-based carrier says to target Africa, Asia with new long-range aircraft
Low cost-carrier Air Arabia has signed a lease deal to add six aircraft to its fleet from 2019, giving it greater reach to target long-range destinations in Africa and Asia.
The Sharjah-based airline inked an eight-year lease agreement with US-based Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to take add six A321 neo long range aircraft (with reduced fuel consumption) to its fleet. Each aircraft will have 215 seats, with deliveries taking place between January and October 2019.
"This will allow Air Arabia to fly from its main base in Sharjah, from our hub in Morocco, as well as our hub in Egypt, further afield, almost up to eight hours anywhere within that range,” said Adil Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia.
"It also gives us a good capacity increase of up to about 45 to 50 seats on each aircraft from our existing capacity.”
He said Air Arabia would have the range to reach destinations in China, Thailand and Malaysia. From its Morocco base, he said Air Arabia would look to operate routes to east Europe. “It’s a target that we’ve always had,” he said, of the Moroccan base.
Air Arabia currently has 50 Airbus A320s in its fleet, serving a total of 133 destinations. The airline will take delivery of a further three over the next two years, with the six from ALC to added in 2019.
“I have no doubt that we will be looking for more airplanes as and when is the right time,” said Ali.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.