Dubai Airshow: Air Arabia inks 120 Airbus A320neo deal
Air Arabia has confirmed a previously rumored deal for 100+ Airbus A320neo family aircraft, including the newest A321XLR. The airline and Airbus officially announced the $14 billion-worth deal on the second day of the Dubai Airshow 2019.
Air Arabia’s firm order includes 73 A320neos, 27 A321neos and 20 A321XLRs, totaling at 120 aircraft ‒ over twice the size of its current fleet. An all-Airbus operator, the Sharjah-based low-cost carrier currently flies 52 A320-200s and three A321neos.
“The addition of the A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR complements our existing fleet and allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model. We look forward to working with Airbus and receiving the first delivery,” highlighted Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia.
On October 16, 2019, the carrier, together with Etihad, announced that they would be launching a joint airline. The new low-cost airline would be called Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and, as the name suggests, it would have a hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).
The new carrier might begin operations as soon as March-June 2020, Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, has revealed during the Dubai Airshow.
Air Arabia, often introduced as “the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier”, has already set up similar joint ventures, including subsidiaries Air Arabia Maroc, Air Arabia Jordan and Air Arabia Egypt.
Airbus A321XLR was officially launched during the Paris Airshow 2019 and is expected to take up to skies in 2023.
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