Air Arabia, the first and largest low cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, announced today that it has taken delivery of the third and fourth of 44 A320 aircraft it has ordered from Airbus. The announcement also marks the first aircraft to be delivered by Airbus in 2011.
Air Arabia took delivery of the third aircraft on January 6 and the fourth on January 31st, at the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. With the delivery of the two new aircraft in January this year, Air Arabia global operating fleet now reached 27 Airbus A320 aircraft. A total of six aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2011. Once completed in 2016, the delivery of the 44 A320 aircraft will more than double the size of Air Arabia’s existing fleet, bringing the airline’s total operating fleet to over 50 aircraft.
“The delivery of our latest A320 aircraft is a great way to begin the year,” said Adel Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia. “In just seven years, Air Arabia has grown from a single aircraft serving five destinations to become a leading regional airline with a fleet of 27 aircraft and a strong network of 67 destinations. Our fleet of modern, safe and reliable aircraft enables us to combine superb value for money with operational excellence. We look forward to the delivery of four more aircraft this year”.
“It is always exciting to make the first delivery of the year. Our first delivery of 2011 to Air Arabia is a testament to the airline’s growing operations, as well as the opportunities present in the Middle East aviation sector. We look forward to delivering four further aircraft this year as the airline continues to grow,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
Air Arabia already operates a fleet of 27 A320s. From its three main hubs, Sharjah in the UAE, Casablanca in Morocco and Alexandria in Egypt, the carrier serves a network of some 67 international routes spread across Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia and North Africa.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Around 6,700 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold to some 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.