Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier received its first Airbus A321neo Long Range on Monday, April 15th. The aircraft flew nonstop from Airbus’s facility in Hamburg to the airlines home base of Sharjah International Airport.
Air Arabia is the first Middle Eastern airline to operate the A321neo LR and this delivery is the first of six aircraft that will join Air Arabia’s fleet which comprises of 53 A320 Family aircraft. The airline serves more than 155 routes across the globe from four hubs in the UAE, (Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah), Morocco and Egypt. The addition of the A321neo LR will enable Air Arabia to expand to new medium-haul markets in addition to strengthening the existing routes with increased seat capacity.
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “We are glad to welcome the first A321neo LR to our fleet, which marks another milestone in Air Arabia’s journey. The addition of this new aircraft allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model. We look forward to receiving the remaining aircraft in 2019 as we continue to offer our customers an excellent product with more destinations to discover”.
The aircraft has been leased from one of the largest aircraft leasing specialists, Air Lease Corporation, who will supply the airline with all six A321neo LR jets for Air Arabia. “We are pleased to announce the delivery of this first of six new A321-200neo LR aircraft with Air Arabia and be the first to introduce the A321LR to the region today,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation. “This delivery is particularly significant as this is ALC’s first A321-200neo LR aircraft. A key addition to Air Arabia’s fleet, the A321-200neo LR offers dynamic long-range optimisation and increased capacity as the airline expands into new destinations.”
“This new A321-200neo LR aircraft delivery strengthens our long-standing relationship with Air Arabia as the airline continues to excel as one of the premier airlines in the Middle East with the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft,” added Alex Khatibi, Executive Vice President of Air Lease Corporation.
The Air Arabia A321neo LRs are powered by the fuel-efficient CFM LEAP-1A engines and are configured to accommodate 215 passengers. The aircraft will all be fitted out with new state of the art cabin interiors that was launched as part of Air Arabia’s new brand identity unveiled back in October 2018.
Air Arabia also recently announced that it would be starting a new daily service between Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, from July 1st, 2019. The flight time is expected to be around seven hours and represents a big move for the budget carrier.
Adel Al Ali said: “We are pleased to add Kuala Lumpur to our global network of more than 155 destinations. This beautiful city is a tremendous addition to Air Arabia’s network, and we are confident it will contribute further to the strong tourism and trade ties between the UAE and Malaysia. We look forward to the start of the new flights that provides our customers with a great value for money option to travel between both countries.”