Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa said, it has signed an agreement with Airbus for the acquisition of up to 49 A320 aircraft.
The carrier has signed a firm contract for 34 Airbus A320 aircraft with an option for 15 more. The Sharjah-based airline, which made the announcement during the Dubai Air Show, has yet to specify the engines to be installed on its new fleet.
The deal, whose total book value approaches US$3.5 billion at list prices, will more than triple the size of Air Arabia's fleet, and underlines its stated ambition to increase its total operating fleet to over 50 aircraft by 2015 and become a world-leading airline.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman, Air Arabia, said the decision to choose the Airbus A320 reflects the company's objectives in continuously providing the best value for money services in the region. "Our vision is to be one of the world's leading low-cost carriers in terms of profit margins, innovation, reputation and operational excellence. Having the A320 at the heart of our fleet is the best and quickest way we can achieve this.
The aircraft has an outstanding success record throughout the world and is ideal for our
needs and those of our customers," he said.
Air Arabia has released earlier this month its financial results for the first nine month of 2007. For the period of the first nine month of 2007, the company posted a net profit of AED 280 million, up 331 per cent compared to AED 65 million during the same period of last
year. For the same period, the company posted a turnover of AED 889 million, up 68 percent compared to AED 528 million in 2006. In the first nine month of 2007, the airline served total 1,954,982passengers, an increase of 55 per cent compared to 1,265,528passengers during the first nine month in 2006
Adel Ali, Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said "Our performance underlines Air Arabia's continued growth in the marketplace," said Ali. "In July, we were given permission to list our shares on the Dubai Financial Market and now we are totally set for expansion mode. In four years time, not only we have changed air travel perception in this part of the world, rather we created a unique investment opportunity for our customers to be part of the success story."
Meanwhile, the airline has announced that it will establish its second hub in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, providing the Sharjah-based LCC with a platform from which to reach into the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market. This announcement follows the signing of a management agreement between Air Arabia and Regional Air Lines, the
leading private carrier in Morocco.
Book value of total deal approaches $3.5 billion;
Airline establishes second hub in Morroco to serve Europe, Middle East and Africa;
Air Arabia announces record nine month 2007 net profit of AED 280 mn, up 331%