Air Arabia

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Air Arabia
Air Arabia Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 3 February 2003
Commenced operations 28 October 2003
Frequent-flyer program Airewards
Alliance Arab Air Carriers Organization
Fleet size 36
Destinations 115
Company slogan Pay less Fly more
Parent company Air Arabia (PJSC) holding company, listed on the Dubai Financial Market.
Key people
Revenue Increase AED 3.7 billion(FY 2014)[1]
Profit Increase AED 566 million(FY 2014)[1]
Total assets Increase AED 10.574 million (FY 2014)[2]
Total equity Decrease AED 5.054 million (FY 2014)[2]
Employees 2,302 (Dec, 2013)[3]

Air Arabia (Arabic: العربية للطيران‎‎) is a low-cost airline with its head office in the Sharjah Freight Center, Sharjah International Airport, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The airline operates scheduled services to 51 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe to 22 countries from Sharjah, 28 destinations in 9 countries from Casablanca, Fez, Nador and Tangier, 11 destinations in 8 countries from Ras Al Khaimah, and 6 destinations in 4 countries from Alexandria.

Air Arabia's main base is Sharjah International Airport. There is also a hub in Ras Al Khaimah and focus cities in Alexandria and Casablanca.[4] Air Arabia is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.


Air Arabia (العربية للطيران) was established on 3 February 2003 by an Amiri decree issued by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, becoming the first low-fare airline in the region. The airline started operations on 28 October 2003 with the first flight from Sharjah, UAE to Bahrain International Airport. The airline was profitable from the first year of being in business. It launched an initial public offering for 55% of its stock early in 2007.[4]

Corporate affairs[edit]

An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200 approaching Toulouse–Blagnac Airport (2012)

Management and ownership[edit]

Air Arabia launched in October 2003 and was the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East. The airline was listed on the Dubai Financial Market and traded under ticker symbol: (DFM: AIRARABIA) is now a holding company with assets worth over AED 10 billion. The airline began generating a profit in the first year of operation. Air Arabia today consists of a group of airlines and companies offering travel and tourism services across the Middle East and North Africa.

The board of directors consists of 7 members. The current board was elected in March 2014 for a period of 3 years. Arabia closely monitors its boards actions and discourages the trade of shares within the board members. In 2014 the board members did not participate in any trade of Air Arabia Shares.[5]

As of the March 2014 Annual General Meeting the board members consist of the following members:[6]

Board Member Title
Sheik Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani Chairman of the Board
Adel Abdulla Ali Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Dr. Ghanem Mohammed Al Hajri Independent Member
Aref Naqvi Non-Executive member
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Thani Independent Member
Sheikh Khalid Bin Issam Al Qassimi Independent Member
Ali Salim Al Midfa Independent Member


The headquarters is in the Sharjah airport Freight Center,[7] on the property of Sharjah International Airport. The airport is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) away from central Dubai.

Joint ventures[edit]

An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200 (2012)

Air Arabia has created joint ventures at three international bases. The following countries have had or still do have JV airlines based there:


Air Arabia Egypt (2010–present) - On 9 September 2009, Air Arabia announced Air Arabia Egypt as a joint venture with Egyptian travel and tourism company Travco Group to be based in Alexandria, Egypt.[8] The airline received its operating license on 22 May 2010, with commercial flights beginning 1 June 2010. The fleet in Egypt consists of three aircraft, two operating a scheduled service and one carrying charter traffic from Europe to the Red Sea.


In January 2015 Air Arabia announced the acquisition of a 49% stake in Petra Airlines. The principal shareholder of Petra Airlines, the RUM Group, retain a 51% stake in the airline, which will be rebranded as Air Arabia Jordan in early 2015. It will initially operate 2 Airbus A320 aircraft and there are plans to develop a new hub in Amman.[9] First flights of this new airline took place during week commencing 18 May 2015, with launch destinations being Kuwait, Sham el Shiekh, Erbil, and Jeddah.


Air Arabia Maroc (2009–present) - Air Arabia, in a joint venture with Moroccan investors established Air Arabia Maroc and set up a secondary base in Morocco's largest city, Casablanca; it began operations on 6 May 2009, allowing them to expand into Europe and Africa.

The Maroc fleet consists of four aircraft serving mainly European destinations.


Fly Yeti (2007–2008) - In 2007, Air Arabia opened a base in Nepal's capital Kathmandu to serve Asia and the Middle East, with the signing of a joint venture agreement with Yeti Airlines, establishing a low-cost carrier, called Fly Yeti that provided service to an international destinations. Due to the uncertain political and economic situation prevailing in Nepal and lack of local government support, FlyYeti operations were suspended in 2008.

Business trends[edit]

The key trends for Air Arabia over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):[10]

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Turnover (AED m) 181 411 749 1,283 2,066 1,972 2,080 1,796 2,832 3,183 3,729
Profits (AED m) N/A 31 101 369 510 452 310 195 424 435 566
Number of passengers (m) 0.5 1.1 1.8 2.7 3.6 4.1 4.5 4.7 5.3 6.1 6.8
Passenger load factor (%) 68 79 80 86 85 80 83 82 82 80 81
Number of aircraft (at year end) 3 5 8 11 16 21 25 29 33 34 39
Number of Destinations 15 23 32 37 44 45 65 69 82 90 100
Notes/sources [10] [10] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [10]


As of December 2014, Air Arabia serves 100 airports across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe, with the latest being Cairo, Egypt.[18][19]

Below is a table of the number of direct destinations served from each Air Arabia operating base as of 31 May 2015:

City Country IATA ICAO Airport Direct Destinations
Sharjah United Arab Emirates SHJ OMSJ Sharjah International Airport 65
Ras al-Khaimah United Arab Emirates RKT OMRK Ras Al Khaimah International Airport 10
Alexandria Egypt HBE HEBA Borg El Arab Airport 7
Casablanca Morocco CMN GMMN Mohammed V International Airport 12
Tangier Morocco TNG GMTT Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport 7
Nador Morocco NDR GMMW Nador International Airport 6
Fez Morocco FEZ GMFF Fes–Saïss Airport 1
Amman Jordan AMM OJAI Queen Alia International Airport 7


The Air Arabia fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2016):[20]

Air Arabia Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-200 38 162
Total 38

In March 2014 Airbus delivered its 6000th A320 family aircraft to Air Arabia[21]


Air Arabia has had the same livery design since its founding in 2003. The aircraft body is painted in three different colors red, grey and white. The tail and each aircraft engine bears the company logo of a Gull.



In the second quarter of 2015 Air Arabia rolled out Airewards program which is the first loyalty programme by a low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Airewards model is based on the price paid towards Air Arabia services rather than the distance of the flight. Points can be earned on any goods or services spent towards the airlines while travelling through its UAE or Morocco base. This online loyalty programme offers flexibility when redeeming points, with the availability of a variety of payment and reward options, without any blackout dates or limitations on availability.[22]

Points can be earned and shared with anyone, Airewards act like a currency with 100 points equal to USD one. Points can be redeemed for:[23]

  • Buy entire flights or partially pay for flights
  • Increased baggage allowance
  • Pre-selected meal option
  • Travel insurance
  • Seat selection
  • Airport services at Sharjah International Airport

Accidents and incidents[edit]

As of March 2017, Air Arabia has not had any fatal accidents or incidents and has a very good safety record.

  • 2 November 2013: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ANH operating as flight G9-522 from Chittagong to Sharjah with 161 people on board, was climbing from Chittagong when an engine (CFM56) ingested a bird prompting the crew to return to Chittagong for a safe landing.[24]
  • 16 March 2014: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ANL operating as flight G9-454 from Sharjah to Kozhikode with 171 passengers and 6 crew, was en route over the Arabian Sea southwest of Mumbai when the crew received a smoke indication in one of the cargo holds. The aircraft diverted to Mumbai for a safe landing. Attending emergency services found no trace of fire, heat or smoke.[25]
  • 3 May 2014: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ABQ operating as flight G9-551 (dep 2 May) from Sharjah to Sialkot with 162 passengers, was en route at FL370 near Multan when the crew needed to shut down the left hand engine (CFM56) and diverted to Multan for a safe landing.[26]
  • 30 May 2014: An Air Arabia Airbus A320-200, registration A6-ANQ operating as flight G9-522 from Chittagong to Sharjah with 137 people on board, was climbing from Chittagong's runway 23 when the crew stopped the climb at 7000 feet due to problems with the cabin pressurization and returned to Chittagong for a safe landing on runway 23 about 15 minutes after departure.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Air Arabia 2014 full year net profit climbs 30% to AED 566 million". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Air Arabia Balance Sheet". GulfBase. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Air Arabia Member profile". Arab Air Carriers Organization. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 52. 
  5. ^ "Air Arabia 2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  6. ^ "Air Arabia PSJC Bloomberg Profile". Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  7. ^ "Contact Info." Air Arabia. Retrieved on 21 June 2010. "Air Arabia (UAE) Air Arabia Head Quarters Sharjah Freight Center (Cargo),at Sharjah International Airport P.O. Box 132 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates" - Arabic: "العربية للطيران الامارات مركز الشارقة لنقل البضائع (الشحن) ،بالقرب من مطار الشارقة الدولي ص. ب. 132 الشارقة، الإمارات العربية المتحدة"
  8. ^ "Air Arabia announced new Egyptian airline". Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  9. ^ "Air Arabia Expands into Jordan". Airliner World: 13. March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Air Arabia Investor Presentation" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  11. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  12. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  13. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  14. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  15. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  16. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  17. ^ "Air Arabia Investor Presentation 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  18. ^ "Destinations - Air Arabia". Air Arabia. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  19. ^ "Air Arabia adds Cairo as its 90th Worldwide Destination". IANS. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2016 (Part Two)". Airliner World (November 2016): 35. 
  21. ^ "The A320 Family: 6,000 deliveries and counting". Airbus Industrie. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Air Arabia launches loyalty program ‘Airewards’". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Airewards FAQ". Air Arabia. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Arabia A320 at Chittagong on 2 November 2013, bird strike". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Arabia A320 near Mumbai on 16 March 2014, cargo smoke indication". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Arabia A320 near Multan on May 3rd 2014, engine shut down in flight". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "Arabia A320 at Chittagong on 30 May 2014, cabin did not pressurise". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 

External links[edit]