Air Arabia (Arabic: العربية للطيران al-ʿArabiyya aṭ-Ṭayarān) is an Emirati low-cost airline with its head office in the A1 Building Sharjah Freight Center, Sharjah International Airport. The airline operates scheduled services to 151 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe to 22 countries from Sharjah, 28 destinations in 9 countries from Casablanca, Fez, Nador and Tangier, 11 destinations in 8 countries from Ras Al Khaimah, and 6 destinations in 4 countries from Alexandria. Air Arabia's main base is Sharjah International Airport. There is also a hub in Ras Al Khaimah and focus cities in Alexandria and Casablanca. Air Arabia is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
|Founded||3 February 2003|
|Commenced operations||28 October 2003|
|Alliance||Arab Air Carriers Organization|
|Company slogan||Where Next!|
|Parent company||Air Arabia (PJSC) holding company, listed on the Dubai Financial Market.|
|Revenue||AED 3.7 billion(FY 2014)|
|Profit||AED 566 million(FY 2014)|
|Total assets||AED 10.574 million (FY 2014)|
|Total equity||AED 5.054 million (FY 2014)|
|Employees||2,302 (Dec, 2013)|
Air Arabia (العربية للطيران) was established on 3 February 2003 by an Amiri decree issued by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, becoming the first low-fare airline in the Middle East. The airline started operations on 28 October 2003 with the first flight from Sharjah, UAE to Bahrain International Airport. The airline was profitable from the first year of being in business. It launched an initial public offering for 55% of its stock early in 2007.
Management and ownershipEdit
Air Arabia launched in October 2003 and was the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East. The airline was listed on the Dubai Financial Market and traded under ticker symbol: (DFM: AIRARABIA) is now a holding company with assets worth over AED 10 billion. The airline began generating a profit in the first year of operation. Air Arabia today consists of a group of airlines and companies offering travel and tourism services across the Middle East and North Africa.
The board of directors consists of seven members. The current[when?] board was elected in March 2014 for a period of three years. Arabia closely monitors its board's actions and discourages the trade of shares within the board members. In 2014, the board members did not participate in any trade of Air Arabia Shares.
As of the March 2014 Annual General Meeting, the board members consisted of the following members:
|Sheik Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani||Chairman of the Board|
|Adel Abdulla Ali||Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director|
|Dr. Ghanem Mohammed Al Hajri||Independent Member|
|Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Thani||Independent Director|
|Sheikh Khalid Bin Issam Al Qassimi||Independent Member|
|Mr. Waleed Al Sayegh||Independent Member|
|Mr. Matar Al Blooshi||Independent Member|
Air Arabia has created joint ventures at four international bases. The following countries have had or still do have JV airlines based there:
Air Arabia Egypt (2010–present) - On 9 September 2009, Air Arabia announced Air Arabia Egypt as a joint venture with Egyptian travel and tourism company Travco Group to be based in Alexandria, Egypt. The airline received its operating license on 22 May 2010, with commercial flights beginning 1 June 2010. The fleet in Egypt consists of three aircraft, two operating a scheduled service and one carrying charter traffic from Europe to the Red Sea.
In January 2015 Air Arabia announced the acquisition of a 49% stake in Petra Airlines. The principal shareholder of Petra Airlines, the RUM Group, retain a 51% stake in the airline, which will be rebranded as Air Arabia Jordan in early 2015.[needs update] It initially operated[needs update] two Airbus A320 aircraft and there are plans to develop a new hub in Amman. The first flights of the new airline took place during the week commencing 18 May 2015, with launch destinations being Kuwait, Sharm El Sheikh, Erbil, and Jeddah. Air Arabia Jordan ended operations in 2018.
Air Arabia Maroc (2009–present) - Air Arabia, in a joint venture with Moroccan investors established Air Arabia Maroc and set up a secondary base in Morocco's largest city, Casablanca; it began operations on 6 May 2009, allowing them to expand into Europe and Africa.
The Maroc fleet consists of ten aircraft serving mainly European destinations.
Fly Yeti (2007–2008) - In 2007, Air Arabia opened a base in Nepal's capital Kathmandu to serve Asia and the Middle East, with the signing of a joint venture agreement with Yeti Airlines, establishing a low-cost carrier, called Fly Yeti that provided service to an international destinations. Due to the uncertain political and economic situation prevailing in Nepal and lack of local government support, FlyYeti operations were suspended in 2008.
|Turnover (AED m)||181||411||749||1,283||2,066||1,972||2,080||1,796||2,832||3,183||3,729||3,739||3,778|
|Profits (AED m)||N/A||31||101||369||510||452||310||195||424||435||566||481||365|
|Number of passengers (m)||0.5||1.1||1.8||2.7||3.6||4.1||4.5||4.7||5.3||6.1||6.8||8.0||8.5|
|Passenger load factor (%)||68||79||80||86||85||80||83||82||82||80||81||82||79|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||3||5||8||11||16||21||25||29||33||34||39||46||50|
|Number of Destinations||15||23||32||37||44||45||65||69||82||90||100|
|Airbus A320-200||39||—||168||The New Livery is currently being applied to the entire Air Arabia Fleet|
|Airbus A320neo||—||73||TBA||Order announced in the 2019 Dubai Air Show |
|Airbus A321neo||—||20||TBA||Order announced in the 2019 Dubai Air Show |
|Airbus A321LR||3||3||215||Remaining Deliveries to be continued from August 2019|
|Airbus A321XLR||—||23||TBA||Order announced in the 2019 Dubai Air Show|
Air Arabia has had the same livery design since its founding in 2003. The aircraft body is painted in three different colors red, grey and white. The tail and each aircraft engine bear the company logo of Sharjah in the form of a bird.
Celebrating their 15 years of service in October 2018, a new livery has been introduced and will be applied to the fleet progressively. It features a large red bird logo coming down from tail to rear fuselage with grey accents behind its wings and billboard style AirArabia title in English on the front of aircraft with small Arabic title placed next to it above the windows, bird logo also adorns the engines while title in applied on red winglets .
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In 2015 Air Arabia rolled out the AirRewards program, the first loyalty programme by a low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa region. The AirRewards model is based on the price paid towards Air Arabia services rather than the distance of the flight. This cashback loyalty program offers up to 10% cashback as points, maximum flexibility when redeeming points, with the availability of a variety of payment and reward options, without any blackout dates or limitations on availability.
Points can be earned and shared with anyone, AirRewards points act like a currency with 100 points equal to US$1. Points can be redeemed for:
- Buy entire flights or partially pay for flights
- Increased baggage allowance
- Pre-booked meals
- Travel insurance
- Seat selection
- Airport services at Sharjah International Airport
Air Arabia is one of the few airlines which does not serve alcoholic beverages on its flights.
Accidents and incidentsEdit
As of March 2017[update], Air Arabia has not had any fatal accidents or incidents and has a very good safety record.
- 2 November 2013: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ANH operating as flight G9-522 from Chittagong to Sharjah with 161 people on board, was climbing from Chittagong when an engine (CFM56) ingested a bird prompting the crew to return to Chittagong for a safe landing.
- 16 March 2014: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ANL operating as flight G9-454 from Sharjah to Kozhikode with 171 passengers and 6 crew, was en route over the Arabian Sea southwest of Mumbai when the crew received a smoke indication in one of the cargo holds. The aircraft diverted to Mumbai for a safe landing. Attending emergency services found no trace of fire, heat or smoke.
- 3 May 2014: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ABQ operating as flight G9-551 (dep 2 May) from Sharjah to Sialkot with 162 passengers, was en route at FL370 near Multan when the crew needed to shut down the left hand engine (CFM56) and diverted to Multan for a safe landing.
- 30 May 2014: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ANQ operating as flight G9-522 from Chittagong to Sharjah with 137 people on board, was climbing from Chittagong's runway 23 when the crew stopped the climb at 7000 feet due to problems with the cabin pressurization and returned to Chittagong for a safe landing on runway 23 about 15 minutes after departure.
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- "Air Arabia leases six new Airbus A321neo LR aircraft to serve longer range routes". 14 November 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
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- "Arabia A320 near Mumbai on 16 March 2014, cargo smoke indication". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
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- "Arabia A320 at Chittagong on 30 May 2014, cabin did not pressurise". Retrieved 9 June 2015.