Breaks even in first yearAir Arabia flies high [Archives:2005/818/Community]

February 21 2005

Air Arabia LLC, one of the UAE's national airlines and the first low-cost airline of its kind in the Middle East and North African region, announced this month its first year financial results to be a resounding success after posting a break-even result.

Speaking in press conference, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Moh'd Al-Thani, Chairman of the Board of Air Arabia said, “I am very proud to announce that Air Arabia is the first airline in the Middle East region to post a break-even result in its first year of operation. We have exceeded our own targets for 2004.”

Adel Ali, Air Arabia's CEO said: “We were anticipating year one to be a loss making year, projecting break-even during year two and posting a marginal profit during year three. The results so far are beyond our expectations as airline profitability is a long-term goal and never achieved during the first year of launching such an operation.”

Adel Ali went on to say, “In the first 12 months of operation we went from 5 to 15 destinations, have flown 5,398 sectors and now have over 250 employees working for us. We logged over 13,000 flight hours in the past year and now our latest brand new aircraft has arrived, increasing our fleet to 5 Airbus A320s.”

Added Adel Ali: “We feel our success is also due to the fact that our priorities are, and will remain, safety, reliability and good service combined with low cost. It seems as an unbeatable combination.”

Air Arabia is a Sharjah government owned airline currently flying from Sharjah ten times a week to Alexandria; daily to Bahrain, Beirut, Colombo, Doha and Muscat; five days a week to Damascus and Kuwait; four days a week to Dammam; three days a week to Khartoum and Aleppo; and two days a week to Assiut, Jeddah, Riyadh and Sana'a.

Prizes and passes

Close on the heels of its break-even financial result for its first year of operations and with the announcement of the opening of the Mumbai route, Air Arabia LLC – one of the UAE's national airlines and the first low-cost airline of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region – announces its first region-wide promotional campaign for 2005.

Simply fly with Air Arabia from 18 February to 18 April and you will be entered into a weekly raffle to win three fantastic prizes – 500.000 cash or one of two unlimited travel passes – valid for one year on any Air Arabia sector – and also be entered into the grand raffle at the end of the promotion for Yemeni Rial 5.000.000. A total of 25 prizes will be awarded during the eight week period.

Speaking on the launch of the campaign, Air Arabia's Head of Sales, A.K. Nizar commented: “We will be launching this promotion across 11 countries offering all residents and visitors throughout the region the opportunity to travel and win. Just fly with Air Arabia during the promotional period and every week passenger's boarding passes will be entered into a draw to potentially win one of three prizes. Each and every person flying during this time will also be entered into the final grand prize draw. Even if you don't win one of the cash prizes or an unlimited yearly travel pass, I believe that everyone will be a winner thanks to the low fares we have available during this period.”

Arhab Al Sarhi, Air Arabia's Manager in Yemen added: “As well as offering weekly prizes and a grand prize, during this period travellers have the opportunity to take advantage of special fares. offered for one-way trips from Sana'a to most of Air Arabia's destinations and vice versa excluding taxes.”

“This is a great opportunity to take advantage of competitive fares while at the same time possibly win cash prizes – as well as more travel! With weekly prizes of one year travel passes on any Air Arabia sector, winning passengers can fly for business or pleasure as much as they want. The earlier you book the more likely it is that you will get the best fare – so book early and you will certainly win by getting the lowest possible fare to your favourite destination,” concluded Al Sarhi.

New flight to India

On another issue, officials announced that Air Arabia has been granted flight rights to fly daily to Mumbai, India from the middle of March 2005.

“We are delighted with this addition to our growing network,” said Air Arabia's Chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Moh'd Al-Thani. “This is part of our commitment to provide our passengers with the best value and the highest quality of service. By connecting India to our existing routes, we can now offer Indian nationals the opportunity to travel at lower fares throughout the Gulf region and Gulf residents to travel to India at the best possible fares, allowing families to meet more frequently and tourists to enjoy even more destinations,” he added.

The fairs to India are expected to be lowest than the fairs of all other airlines, and it is hoped that it will drive thousands of new customers to Air Arabia.

“India has always been part of Air Arabia's expansion plans and we look forward to addressing more of the region's travel needs with this new destination,” said Arhab Al sarhi , Air Arabia's Manager in Yemen .

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Air Arabia to assist in increasing tourism within India with the movement of traffic from Yemen, as well as offering numerous travel opportunities to the Indian public, whether for business or leisure,” he added.