Air Arabia may Choose Beirut as Third Hub

DUBAI — Sharjah-based Air Arabia, the Middle East’s largest low-cost carrier, is likely to choose Beirut as its third hub, an industry specialist said.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 10:51 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:32 PM

Air Arabia recently announced that it is working to set up a new hub mid-way between Casablanca and Sharjah, but refused to comment on its exact location, which should be disclosed very soon.

Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer Adil Ali recently said in an interview that they were “fairly close” and that “it should be a matter of weeks.”

“We compared Egypt and Lebanon and technically Beirut could be the best choice for Air Arabia for their third hub,” Karim Hijazi, Managing Director of Air Synapsis, told Khaleej Times.

Dubai-based Air Synapsis is an aviation consultancy firm for clients in the Middle East.

Regarding the expected date for the announcement, Hijazi said: “ I don’t have any information as it is confidential and sensitive.”

Beirut benefits from a well-balanced traffic demand from both the European and GCC regions making it the ideal hub to link these markets. The resulting network would enable Air Arabia to directly compete with long haul carriers between European and MENA destinations. Ideally located, between the two existing hubs, Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport, BRHIA, is probably offering the most attractive location for Air Arabia’s expansion on both commercial and operational points of view. It has been aviation hub in the Middle East; it came just behind Dubai International Airport.

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