Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, has taken delivery of the first of 44 A320s the carrier has on order, becoming the newest operator of directly purchased Airbus aircraft.
The airline’s order for 44 A320s (it placed an order for 34 in 2007 and a follow-up order for 10 in 2008) will make the carrier one of the region’s largest Airbus A320 operators and equip it with one of the region’s most modern fleets, according to Airbus.
“Our aim to become one of the world’s leading airlines in terms of profit margin, innovation, reputation, and operational excellence has taken a step closer to reality with today’s delivery of our first of 44 Airbus A320 aircraft,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, on October 25. “As we receive more aircraft, we will expand our network and operations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.”
Air Arabia already operates a fleet of 23 leased A320s. From its three main hubs – Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, Casablanca in Morocco and Alexandria in Egypt – the carrier serves a network of some 65 international routes from Europe to the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia and North Africa. In 2011, Air Arabia will open a fourth hub in Amman, Jordan.
The A320 family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is one of the world’s two most popular single-aisle commercial aircraft families. More than 6,700 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been sold to more than 300 customers and operators worldwide, and over 4,400 A320 delivered.