Air Arabia plans to double its current fleet capacity within next 12 months - GulfToday

Air Arabia plans to double its current fleet capacity within next 12 months


A record 15.9 million guests travelled through Abu Dhabi in 2022, nearly threefold the number of visitors in 2021 at 5.26 million.

Air Arabia has revealed its plans to double its current fleet capacity within the next 12 months, in a step that aims to support Abu Dhabi’s leisure and business tourism market and its growing aviation needs.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said, “Tourism is one of the key pillars of the UAE economy. Abu Dhabi is an Emirate with solid destination appeal and our enhanced fleet size will continue to support the current robust inbound tourism, in line with the Emirate’s long-term vision of growing regional and global visitor numbers.”

“In 2022, a record 15.9 million guests travelled through Abu Dhabi, nearly threefold the number of visitors in 2021 at 5.26 million. Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, which complements Etihad Airways’ services from the UAE capital, is contributing to this remarkable growth by catering to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region,” Al Ali added, highlighting Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’s contribution to the capital’s tourism growth.

“Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is supporting the UAE capital’s growing prominence as a global tourism and business hub. Doubling the fleet strength will be crucial to meet growing passenger demand for low-cost travel as the city records a new wave of growth in tourism, driven by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Strategy 2030, which aims to attract 23 million tourists annually by 2030.”

 Asked about the carrier’s plans for expansion and the utilisation of innovative tech solutions, the Group CEO said, “Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has adopted a strategic approach to diversify its business and invest in innovative services to grow its market. The carrier follows the same strong business model adopted by Air Arabia Group, which focuses primarily on providing value-added services at affordable prices while investing in the latest technologies to expand market share.

“Committed to providing the highest quality of service to our customers, we are exploring new and agile technologies and services to enhance customer experience and provide a distinctive value proposition to all our passengers.

“The ongoing expansion plans will help service more unique and rapidly growing markets as the Emirate attracts a steady growth of business and leisure travellers. By continuously expanding its tourism and culture offerings, and providing diverse, immersive, and enriching experiences to visitors, Abu Dhabi is today a top-tier travel destination in the region with a well-developed aviation infrastructure and robust tourism ecosystem.” Sharing his expectations for the travel and aviation sector at the regional and global levels, Al Ali noted that “despite the continued economic challenges and geopolitical concerns, 2023 continues to be an extraordinary year for the airline industry. It marked the return of the global aviation industry to near normality as travel restrictions eased, leading to strong passenger demand for air travel.”

“The industry is now recovering from its supply chain challenges and the pent-up demand for travel worldwide is continuing to drive growth,” he said in conclusion.

Air Arabia, the Middle East & North Africa’s largest low-cost carrier, recently reported a strong first quarter in both financial and operational terms, recording a net profit of Dhs342 million for the first three months ending March 31, 2023, which represents a 17 per cent increase compared to the Dhs291 million profit recorded in the same quarter in 2022. Additionally, the airline’s turnover for the period was Dhs1.42 billion, which marks a 27 per cent increase compared to the first quarter of last year.

Air Arabia’s strong performance in the first quarter of 2023 reflects the airline’s ability to constantly deliver solid performance while navigating through challenging trading environments. More than 3.9 million passengers flew with Air Arabia Group between January and March 2023 across the carrier’s seven operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Armenia and Pakistan, an increase of 59 per cent compared to a total of 2.4 million passengers carried in the first quarter of last year. The airline’s average seat load factor - or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats - during the first three months of 2023 stood at an impressive 85 per cent, up 8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said, “Air Arabia’s strong financial results in the first three month of this year reflects our unwavering commitment to operational excellence, rigid cost control measures, and our prudent management team. Despite the ongoing global economic and geo-political uncertainty, our focus on driving profitability and maintaining an efficient operation has enabled us to deliver solid financial and operational results. We are confident in our ability to navigate through market challenges and capitalize on new opportunities, while ensuring we continue to deliver the best value for our customers and shareholders”.

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