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Mon 5 Jan 2015 03:15 PM

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UAE's Air Arabia buys 49% stake in Jordanian airline

Low-cost carrier says it has acquired interest in Petra Airlines which will be rebranded Air Arabia Jordan

UAE's Air Arabia buys 49% stake in Jordanian airline
Air Arabia

Air Arabia has bought a 49 percent stake in Jordan's Petra Airlines, the United Arab Emirates-based carrier said on Monday.

Petra Airlines will be rebranded as Air Arabia Jordan and the UAE carrier will establish a hub at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport, with operations to commence under the new name in the first quarter, according to a statement to Dubai's bourse.

Following the acquisition, it is expected Air Arabia Jordan will commence operations in the first quarter of 2015. The newly established carrier, managed by Air Arabia, will follow the carrier's business model serving as Air Arabia's fifth hub in the Arab world.

Air Arabia Jordan will provide direct service to a range of destinations across the Europe, Middle East and North Africa region from Queen Alia International Airport.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said: "Partnering with an established airline like Petra Airlines provides this agreement with an advantageous position in terms of operational and commercial support, which will enable Air Arabia Jordan to reach its full potential in a shorter time span.

"The establishment of a new hub in Jordan extends Air Arabia's operational footprint into the heart of the Levant and brings us a step closer to achieving our stated goal of connecting the entire Arab world. This step will also provide the Jordanian economy with a reagent for growth through direct contributions to the local economy."

Riad Khashman, chairman of RUM Group and Petra Airlines, added: "Our partnership with Air Arabia represents an important next phase in the progression of Petra Airlines and will be the catalyst for a new era of growth for the low cost aviation sector in Jordan and the wider Levant region.

"We look forward to launching Air Arabia Jordan operations in the coming months."

Two Airbus A320 aircraft will initially be based at Amman Queen Alia International Airport and the fleet will grow as the business demands. Launch routes will be announced in the coming weeks.

Petra Airlines' main shareholder, RUM Group, will maintain a 51 per cent stake in the airline.

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