Air Arabia signs $14 billion deal for 120 Airbus aircraft

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Abdul Basit

Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost airline in the Arab world, on Monday, signed a $14 billion (Dh51 billion) firm order for 120 Airbus A320 family jets at the Dubai Airshow.

The order is for 73 A320neo, 27 A321neo and 20 A321XLR planes with delivery scheduled to start in 2024.

“Air Arabia’s fleet growth strategy has always been driven by commercial demand,” said Adel Ali, the airline’s chief executive. “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.”

Air Arabia’s fleet consists of 54 A320 and A321neo-LR. The A321neo variant provides extended range for the A320neo family’s longest fuselage version.

Air Arabia operates flights to more than 170 destinations in 50 countries from four hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt.

The agreement was signed at the 2019 Dubai Airshow in the presence of Air Arabia’s Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Adel Ali, Chief Executive Officer Air Arabia and Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer.

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 is an all Airbus operator with a total fleet of 54 A320 Family aircraft including the A321LR. All aircraft will feature a comfortable single-class cabin with one of the most generous seat pitches today.

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – 15% more than the A321LR and with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft.

Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the best-selling A320neo Family, comprising the A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo, deliver at least 20% reduced fuel burn as well as 50% less noise compared to previous generation aircraft, thanks to incorporating the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets. At the end of October 2019, the A320neo Family had received more than 7,000 firm orders from over 110 customers worldwide. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com