120 jets: Air Arabia places $14 billion order with Airbus
Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), today set another milestone with one of the region’s largest single-aisle aircraft orders of 120 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. This was announced during Dubai Airshow 2019 following a signing ceremony attended by Air Arabia’s Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani and Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus.
The deal, whose total book value exceeds US$14 billion (list price), will more than triple Air Arabia’s current fleet strength as well as support the carrier’s global network expansion strategy. The new orders are for 73 A320neo, 27 A321neo and 20 A321XLR airplanes, all belonging to the A320 family but each bringing exceptional value for Air Arabia in meeting its growth goals. Delivery is scheduled to commence in 2024 and the Sharjah-based airline has yet to specify the engines to be installed on its new fleet.
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “Air Arabia’s fleet growth strategy has always been driven by commercial demand and we are glad to announce today one of the region’s largest single-aisle orders with Airbus to support our growth plans. This new milestone underpins not only our solid financial fundamentals but also the strength of our multi-hub growth strategy that we have adopted over the years while remaining focused on efficiency, performance and passenger experience.”
He added: “The addition of the A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR complements our existing fleet and allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model. We look forward to working with Airbus and receiving the first delivery.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Air Arabia; this is a great endorsement for the A320neo Family which will allow the airline to tap into new markets. We are committed to supporting the fast expansion of Air Arabia and the region.”
Air Arabia’s current fleet consist of 54 Airbus A320 & A321neo-LR. While the A320neo builds on the A320 product line’s position as the world’s most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft family, the A321neo variant provides extended range for the A320neo family’s longest fuselage version.
Air Arabia is the first Middle Eastern airline to operate the A321neo-LR with three aircraft currently in service and another three scheduled to join the fleet in 2020.
The A321XLR further extends the single-aisle jetliner offer with service entry planned in 2023, making Air Arabia, again, one of the first owners of the aircraft. The A321XLR will offer more range of up to 8 hours and has outstanding environmental performance with lower fuel burn per seat, less carbon dioxide emissions and noise footprint.
Air Arabia currently operates flights to over 170 global destinations in 50 countries from four hubs in the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt.