Simple formula spells success for Air Arabia

SHARJAH - Following the successful launch of its inaugural flight to Doha on Tuesday (Dec. 6), Air Arabia is set to achieve greater heights with its simple success formula: offering efficient service at reduced, value-for-money fares in a number of key destinations in the Middle East and North Africa region.

By Ramona Ruiz

Published: Thu 8 Jan 2004, 12:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:19 AM

Within the first two months of its operations, Air Arabia has flown over 30,000 passengers to its current destination list which comprises Manama, Kuwait City, Beirut, Muscat, Damascus, Adel Ali, Air Arabia's CEO, told members of the Press on the sidelines of a small reception held at the Qatar International Airport.

The official UAE delegation, led by Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani, Air Arabia's Chairman; Dr Ghanem Al-Hajri, Director General, Sharjah International Airport Authority; and Adel Ali, Air Arabia's CEO, was welcomed by Akbar Al Bakr, CEO of Qatar Airways, Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority in Qatar, and other senior officials from the Qatar civil aviation and tourism authority. Mr Ali stressed that Air Arabia wanted to offer more travel opportunities to travellers who were looking for competitive fares, and also make air travel more convenient and frequent.

The UAE's third national carrier and the first low-cost airline in the Middle East and Africa, will also take its passengers to seven other destinations, which include Alexandria and Assiut in Egypt, Isfahan, Shiraz and Teheran in Iran, Aleppo in Syria and Colombo in Sri Lanka.

Explaining the low cost model of Air Arabia, Mr Ali stated: "Price is one element and in the case of low-cost Air Arabia tickets, there is nothing hidden. Our relationship with our customers is extremely transparent. There are no restrictions. All of our tickets are one-way, and the prices of our tickets will always remain to be the lowest available in the market."

Starting fares will vary according to destination, a one-way ticket from Sharjah starts at Dh 370 to Aleppo, Dh 299 to Alexandria, Dh 299 to Assiut, Dh 379 to Colombo, Dh 170 to Doha, Dh 120 to Isfahan, Dh 120 to Shiraz, Dh 150 to Teheran, excluding government taxes, which vary from one country to another.

He added, "We always offer the lowest price depending on when you book. The lowest possible will begin when you book early, and as the aircraft gets full, the prices go up. We cannot tell you any percentage of increase because we are not a conventional airline. We are not kitchen in the sky. We are an airline; we provide transportation between points A and B."

Mr Adel disclosed the airline's plans of having a fleet of a total of six A320s for the first two years. Currently, it has two A320s with two more of the same model to be joining the fleet in March this year and another two A320s towards the end of the year. The airline focuses on booking online through its web site and also has a state-of-the-art call centre. Customers can also visit Air Arabia's selected travel agents and pay for their flights. Initially, the appointed travel agency of Air Arabia in Qatar is Regency Travel and Tourism.

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