Emirati based low-cost carrier Air Arabia has sealed a deal for 120 A320 family aircraft today at the Dubai Airshow. The order includes 73 of the high-efficiency A320neo variants, as well as 23 A321XLR. The announcement was made moments ago at a press conference where the CEO and Airbus representatives broke the news.
Air Arabia Airbus order
We previously reported on rumors that Air Arabia was poised to place an order for at least 100 Airbus aircraft in Dubai this week. Now, it seems those rumors were all true, as the airline today inked a deal for 120 aircraft in total.
The order is split between the A320ceo and neo options. Airbus reports that the order breaks down to 73 A320neos, 27 A321neos, and 20 A321XLRs. At the press conference were Air Arabia’s Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Adel Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer Air Arabia and Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer.
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, commented,
“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.
“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.”
Tripling fleet size
This is huge news for Air Arabia who will see a tripling of its fleet size with this order. Currently, the airline operates just 42 aircraft; once this order is fulfilled, the fleet will be a sizeable 162 Airbus jets!
Airbus wins over Boeing
The airline has been weighing up its options for a new fleet of narrowbody aircraft, with both the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo as options. However, Airbus has long been thought to be the front runner as it already provides the carrier with its narrowbody fleet. In total, the airline operates 39 A320-200s as well as three A321LR. It also has three more A321LR on order from the manufacturer.
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.”
With this order, the airline will undoubtedly be looking to operate longer routes and to expand its network. The aircraft will be configured with what Airbus is calling a ‘comfortable single-class cabin’, noting that passengers will be pleased with the amount of legroom available.