Politicians viewing air transport as a soft target are the greatest threat to the air transport industry, according to the secretary general of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
Publicly owned Air Arabia, the region’s largest low-cost carrier, operates 16 Airbus A320s, has ordered another 44 and plans to open a third operating hub in Alexandria, Egypt, in early 2010, perhaps at the beginning of the northern summer season in late March.
Continued eastward migration of low-cost carriers (LCCs) from North America and Europe to regions such as the Middle East and Asia arguably has established the credibility of this air transport business model.
UAE low-fare carrier Air Arabia yesterday ordered 34 Airbus A320 single-aisle airliners, with delivery to begin in 2012, and took options on an additional 15. Delivery of the aircraft will eventually more than triple the carrier’s current fleet of 10 leased A320s. Chief executive Adel Abdullah Ali, said Air Arabia’s fleet will double by 2010 and grow to 50 by 2015.