During Covid-19, Air Arabia CEO flew in a cargo plane with boxes

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on May 25, 2021

"We were working long hours when we had no airplanes in the air," he said in an interview.

Ever imagined travelling in a cargo plane, surrounded by boxes and cartons? Well, Adel Ali, CEO of Sharjah-based Air Arabia, did it once.

"I remember I had to make a trip in a cargo flight. It was me and boxes and cartons. It was an interesting experience," Ali said during an interview at the Arabian Travel Market 2021 while sharing the details of the early days of last year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"My team and I have never worked as hard as in 2020. We were working long hours when we had no airplanes in the air. But that paid off as we restructured the business. This gave us nice cash preservation and took us through the year nicely," said Ali.

He said there are a lot of other strategic stakeholders who are making decisions that are impacting the aviation industry.

"We only fly. The decision of where, what and how has completely been taken out of the hands of the industry. It is more managed by the health people, the security system, the foreign affairs and the commercial needs of different countries. The least input in the last 12 months has been that of airlines. This is something to learn for the industry for the future," he added.

He said business traffic is not as significant as it used to be but there is a strong pent-up demand for leisure travel.


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