Air Arabia (PJSC), the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, has taken delivery of the first of 44 A320s on order, during a delivery ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. Air Arabia becomes the newest operator and customer of directly purchased Airbus aircraft.
Air Arabia’s order for 44 A320s (34 placed in 2007 and 10 placed in 2008) will make the carrier one of the region’s largest A320 operators and equip the carrier with one of the region’s most modern fleets.
“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. As we receive more aircraft, we will expand our network and operations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman, Air Arabia.
“We are delighted Air Arabia have placed their trust in our A320 and we look forward to working together to achieving their ambitious expansion plans. The A320 is without doubt the leading single aisle product, delivering unbeatable productivity and passenger comfort,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
Air Arabia already operates a fleet of 23 leased A320s. From its three main hubs, Sharjah in the UAE, 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 recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Over 6,700 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold to more than 300 customers and operators worldwide, and over 4,400 A320 delivered, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world-wide standard wide-body system.