Crash 'must not deter flying out of Sharjah'

SHARJAH - The air crash in Sharjah could have happened anywhere in the world, and it should not deter passengers who generally fly in and out of Sharjah International Airport as the airport operates strict polices of safety and security, an Air Arabia official told Khaleej Times when asked to comment on how the airline had managed to allay the fears of passengers travelling via Sharjah Airport following the February 10 plane crash.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Fri 27 Feb 2004, 12:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:13 AM

Kish Airlines carrying mainly Asians and Iranians crashed on February 10 as it approached Sharjah airport, killing 43 people aboard while three survivors were hospitalised.

"Air Arabia is a UAE national airline that adheres to the safety and security regulations in place throughout the UAE and worldwide," stressed Ali Fairooz, Director, Sales and Marketing, Air Arabia.

He added: "To our knowledge, there have been no cancellations, rebookings or diversions due to this air crash."

Following its inaugural flight to Bahrain on October 28 last year, Air Arabia has expanded its flight network. It is currently flying from Sharjah to Bahrain daily, Beirut four days a week, Damascus three days a week, Kuwait three days a week, Muscat five days a week, Alexandria three days a week, Assiut two days a week, Aleppo two days a week, Doha five days a week, Colombo three days a week, Shiraz twice a week and Teheran three times a week.

Mr Fairooz has identified Damascus, Kuwait, Aleppo, Alexandria, Colombo, Bahrain and Beirut as among the favourite destinations of UAE business and travellers.

"Our new aircraft will have a state-of-the-art entertainment system. Air Arabia will continue to offer more services to ensure a better over-all experience for our customers," he disclosed.

When asked on the airline's plans to add new routes in India and Pakistan, he said: "We are awaiting government approvals before we can officially announce these details."

As for Air Arabia's market share, Mr Fairooz said that it would be giving out the figures after its first year of operations, although the current figures are already better than projected.

Meanwhile, Mr Fairooz said the on-line booking facility of the airline has been gaining popularity with 20 per cent of the bookings being made online. Payment for bookings can be made using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express) when booking on-line, through the call centre, and Air Arabia's walk-in stations at airports.

Air Arabia, which is the Middle East's only truly ticket-less airline, offers a simple efficient service at economical, competitive and value for money fares. Ticketing is removed from the airline's services along with the costs associated with them. These savings are passed on to the consumer in the form of economical and competitive fares for high quality service.

Air Arabia's fare structure ultimately depends on market supply and demand; hence, fares increase as seats are sold on every flight. The earlier a passenger books, the more likely it is that they will pay the lowest available fare.

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