Airbus has made this announcement:
Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low cost carrier, has signed a firm order for 120 Airbus aircraft comprising 73 A320neos, 27 A321neos and 20 A321XLRs. The agreement was signed at the 2019 Dubai Airshow in the presence of 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.
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.
Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Air Arabia and Al Fursan took to the skies in unison today to celebrate the UAE’s 47th National Day, as well as commemorate the legacy and values of HH Sheikh Zayed. The late founding father of the UAE dedicated his life and leadership to unify and shape a better collective future for the nation, and today’s formation flight is a soaring display of unity as all four carriers showcase the UAE’s aviation success story to the nation and world.
The spectacular flypast – a world-first and a UAE civil aviation milestone – involved over 11 aircraft: a flydubai Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Zayed 1), an Air Arabia Airbus A320 (Zayed 2), an Etihad Airways Airbus A380 (Zayed 3) and an Emirates Airline Airbus A380 (Zayed 4), as well as seven Al Fursan aerobatic display jets from the UAE Air Force. All of the commercial aircraft within the formation were emblazoned with ‘Year of Zayed’ decals. This is also the first time this unique combination of aircraft types fly in formation.
The aircraft were proudly commanded by Captain Adrian Smith from flydubai, Captain Nadhem Al Hamad from Air Arabia, Captain Richard Dyson from Etihad Airways and Captain Abbas Shaban from Emirates Airline. The Al Fursan team was led by Lieutenant Colonel Nasser Al Obaidli.
Formation and flight path
The carefully choreographed ‘stair step’ aerial formation began this afternoon at 1300 hrs, when the aircraft took-off from Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport. Once all of the aircraft established their holding positions with altitudes ranging from 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet with a 1,000 foot vertical separation, the formation commenced. Over the skies of Ras Al Khaimah, each aircraft adjusted its speed and turned to achieve a trail formation. The aircraft then descended into their positions and vertical separation was reduced to 300 feet.
Flying first in the ‘Year of Zayed’ formation was flydubai, cruising at an altitude of 1,000 feet and an airspeed of 210 knots, closely followed by Air Arabia, in line astern and stepped up at an altitude of 1,300 feet. Next came the Etihad Airbus A380 double-decker, trailing the first two aircraft and flying at 1,600 feet, stepped up by the Emirates Airbus A380 flying at the highest altitude at 1,900 feet to make room for the seven Al Fursan jets set in an arrow formation ready to release their signature smoke trails in the colours of the UAE flag.
Together, the stunning UAE carrier formation flew with impressive precision across the coastline of the UAE, starting at Ras Al Khaimah, continuing on to Um Al Quwain and Ajman, and then passing landmarks including the Sharjah Corniche, Dubai’s Palm and World Islands with the Burj Khalifa skyline in the background, and finally crossing the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, where all aircraft then split and continued on to their respective airports for landing.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, and Chairman of flydubai said: “His Highness Sheikh Zayed was a true pioneer and one of the most inspirational leaders of our time. It is fitting that on UAE National Day, such a spectacular aerial display be done to honour his legacy. This ground-breaking initiative showcases how unity and a shared vision can achieve outstanding results. I am immensely proud of all of the teams across every airline, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, and all the organisations who came together to plan and execute today’s unprecedented flight formation which will go down as an extraordinary moment for UAE civil aviation.”
His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Today our nation celebrates the 47th National Day, a day we celebrate the achievement of the vision of our founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed to unite the seven Emirates. In the Year of Zayed, we are very proud to witness this historic flight formation which resembles the vision set forth by our founding father. Our Emirati carriers flying across the seven Emirates in this formation represents the spirit of our union, and demonstrates the economic progress our nation and aviation sector achieved in less than half a century through connecting over a 100 million travellers annually to 500 destinations globally.”
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia said: “It gives us a great honour to be part of this remarkable formation display dedicated to the Year of Zayed and while celebrating the UAE’s National Day. This unique flight formation display reflects the unity, leadership and the forward vision of the UAE. We thank all the airlines, Al Fursan and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority for working together to achieve such a successful and first of its kind flight display that will now be added to the UAE’s pioneering journey in aviation.”
His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA said: “In this historical formation flight, The GCAA ensured that communication and coordination was carried out between all pertinent authorities and stake holders to ensure that flight details were established and the route flown would avoid all departure and arrival lanes, thereby guaranteeing uninterrupted routine airport operations. This fly past was continuously controlled by Air Traffic Control, tracked by surveillance radar and communicated by two-way radio communication for any advisory and instruction. In addition, the GCAA has further imposed certain requirements for assessment and approval of the entire fly past exercise which includes routing, separation, weather minima, aircraft limitation and trials so that no stone is left unturned.”
Precision planning and co-ordination
While the flawlessly executed aerial formation flight may appear to be a straightforward assignment, the mission was under planning for more than five months due to the complexity of the formation and the number of aircraft involved. With a primary focus on flight safety, the meticulous technical planning and co-ordination involved all four airlines and multiple regulatory stakeholders.
The success of the formation flight was made possible by the collaboration between the pilots and flight operation managers from each airline, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), UAE Ministry of Defence, air traffic controllers, the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authorities from other UAE emirates, amongst others.
All stakeholders worked together to identify suitable locations for the flight formation patterns, taking into account air traffic, areas overflown, route planning, visibility, and potential wind and weather conditions. The entire formation route was protected from any passing traffic within a Temporary Restricted Area controlled by the GCAA. Meetings were held to establish each airline’s position within the formation and precise visual reference points were drawn up so each aircraft could safely join and hold their plotted position. In addition, all pilots went through rigorous flight simulation exercises.
A rehearsal flight was done on November 8, 2018 to ensure that the formation positions worked appropriately with the Al Fursan air display team. The test-run ‘Year of Zayed’ formation also included two helicopters and an Aero L-39 Albatross chase plane from the Latvian based Baltic Bees aerobatic display team to film every detail and aspect of the formation.
The “Year of Zayed” is a tribute to HH Sheikh Zayed’s remarkable legacy which has left a lasting imprint on the UAE. The inspirational leader created a vision of prosperity, determination and tolerance – attributes that remain strongly embedded in UAE culture and across all UAE aviation organisations.
All photos by the airlines.
Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), celebrated 15 years of successful operations which transformed the air travel industry in the wider MENA region by unveiling a new brand identity that is reflective of its innovative forward-looking and international approach.
The unveiling took place during a launch ceremony at the Air Arabia hangar in Sharjah International Airport where guests and press got to view the carrier’s new corporate identity including the new aircraft livery and interior through a live display of one of Air Arabia’s newly branded Airbus A320 aircraft.
Air Arabia has experienced solid and sustained growth since the launch of its first flight in 28 October 2003; when the carrier introduced a new way of taking flight for the Arab world. From the earliest days of serving just five routes with two aircraft, the airline has grown to currently serving over 155 routes from multiple hubs spread across the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, served by a fleet of 53 aircraft, with plans for further expansion in 2019. More importantly, Air Arabia Group has grown to become a leading publicly listed company consisting of airlines and businesses providing travel and tourism services across the globe.
Setting new benchmark in operational excellence, innovation and profitability, Air Arabia’s new brand identity grows from the idea “Now, more than ever” reflecting Air Arabia’s ambitious, customer relevant and eager personality while positioned to provide customers with true value and accessible air travel options.
Commenting on the occasion, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia said:
The new brand identity is derived from the creative idea of ‘Modern Nomads’, reflecting the positioning of Air Arabia as an airline of true value that connect with the young, adventurous, and those who are eager to travel, discover new places and collect new experiences.
The new logotype has evolved to reflect a more modern, simple, versatile, and global brand, with a promise to offer true value, reliable services and provide customers with greater travel opportunities. The airline has maintained its symbol, the seagull, modernizing it and further spreading its wings reflecting the carrier’s growth and outlook while staying true to its original look.
All images by Air Arabia.
Air Arabia (UAE) (Sharjah) has announced that it will begin flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport from February 1, 2018, the second airport Air Arabia serves in Moscow, boosting the flight to daily to serve Russian capital city with a double daily frequency.
The flight to Sheremetyevo International Airport complements the airline’s existing daily services to Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport.
The flight will operate four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 09:10 hours, and arriving at Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) at 13:35 hours local time. The return flight will depart Sheremetyevo at 14:35 hours, landing in Sharjah at 20:45 hours local time.
Air Arabia will upgrade to a daily Sheremetyevo flight from March 1, 2018, which will join the current daily flight to Domodedovo to serve the city of Moscow with a double daily frequency.
In other news, the carrier will also launch a new seasonal route to Bodrum in Turkey, commencing on June 13, 2018.
The flight will operate three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 21:45 hours, and arriving the next day at Bodrum’s Milas Mugla International Airport (BJV) at 01:30 hours local time. The return flight will depart Bodrum at 02:10 hours, landing in Sharjah at 07:35 hours local time.
Copyright Photo: Air Arabia (airarabia.com) (UAE) Airbus A320-214 WL A6-ANZ (msn 6166) ALA (Rob Finlayson). Image: 934120.
Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), has announced that it has signed a lease agreement for six Airbus A321neo Long Range aircraft with the Los Angeles based Air Lease Corporation. These additional aircraft will join Air Arabia’s fleet starting in 2019 and will help the airline better serve its existing network as well as enter longer range routes in the near future.
The agreement was signed between Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia and Alex Khatibi, Executive Vice President of Air Lease Corporation (ALC) on the side-lines of Dubai Airshow.
The A321 is a member of Airbus industry leading A320 family which makes up of Air Arabia’s current fleet. The A321neo LR has been further enhanced with its new engine option (NEO) jetliner versions and expanded seating capacity with optimised use of cabin space. It is the longest range single aisle airliner on the market. Air Arabia’s new A321neo LR aircraft will feature 215 seats per aircraft while maintaining Air Arabia’s industry leading seat pitch that customers currently enjoy.
The new A321neo LR will join Air Arabia’s existing fleet of 50 A320 aircraft that serve over 133 routes from five hubs in the UAE (Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah), Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.
Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com.
Flydubai (Dubai) flight FZ 215 from Dubai to Baghdad, Iraq was shot at last night (January 26) while on approach to Baghdad International Airport with 154 passengers and crew members on board. The Boeing 737-800 was hit by three or four small arms bullets. As a result Air Arabia, Emirates and Etihad Airways have suspended operations to Baghdad.
Read the full report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8KN A6-FEB (msn 40255) completes its final approach to its home base of Dubai International Airport.
Flydubai aircraft slide show:
Air Arabia (airarabia.com) (United Arab Emirates) (Sharjah) is buying a 49 percent share of Petra Airlines (Amman) and will open a new hub in Amman. Petra Airlines will become Air Arabia Jordan. The airline has issued this statement:
Air Arabia announced today (January 5) that it will open a new international hub at Amman Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, its fifth fixed-based operation globally, following the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Petra Airlines. The deal will see the existing principle shareholder of Perta Airlines, the RUM Group, maintain a 51 percent stake. The new partnership will also lead to the creation of Air Arabia Jordan and will reinforce the airline‟s leadership of the low-cost aviation market in the MENA and Levant region.
Following the acquisition and the establishment of the new Air Arabia Jordan, operations are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015. The newly established carrier, managed by Air Arabia, will follow the carrier’s business model serving as Air Arabia’s fifth hub in the Arab world. Air Arabia Jordan will provide direct service to a range of destinations across the Europe, Middle East and North Africa region from Queen Alia International Airport.
Air Arabia Jordan will serve as Air Arabia’s fifth hub and will follow the same proven value for money business model. Two Airbus A320 aircraft will initially be based at Amman Queen Alia International Airport and the fleet will grow as the business demands. Launch routes will be announced in the coming weeks.
Air Arabia, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, launched service from Sharjah, UAE, in October 2003. Today, the carrier provides service to 100 destinations, spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, from its four existing hubs in the UAE, Egypt and Morocco.
Petra Airlines is founded in Jordan in 2005 by RUM Group, Jordan’s leading travel and transport group. Petra Airlines currently operates two Airbus A320s.
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Arabia’s Airbus A320-214 A6-ANJ (msn 5143) taxies at the Sharjah hub.
Air Arabia (UAE) aircraft slide show:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Petra Airlines’ Airbus A320-212 JY-PTB (msn 537) taxies at Antalya, Turkey.
Airbus (Toulouse) has delivered the 6,000 A320 Family aircraft. Airbus has issued this statement:
This handover involved a Sharklet-equipped A320 received by Air Arabia (Sharjah) during a ceremony at Airbus’ Hamburg, Germany facilities – home to one of three A320 Family final assembly sites worldwide. The jetliner is the 37th A320 Family aircraft received by Air Arabia, a leading low cost-carrier in the Middle East and North Africa regions.
Since the A320’s service entry in 1988, ongoing improvements to the A320 Family developed by Airbus – including engine enhancements, aerodynamic refinements such as the incorporation of Sharklets, and upgrades to its widest-in-class passenger cabin – have resulted in the world’s best-selling and most modern single-aisle product line, with more than 10,200 aircraft ordered to date.
In addition, the company is continuing to apply innovations to the A320 Family with the A320neo (new engine option) – which has captured some 60 per cent market share ahead of its 2015 service entry. These jetliners share 95 per cent commonality with current engine option (CEO) aircraft, while incorporating two new powerplant choices – CFM International’s LEAP-1A and the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney – along with Sharklets wingtip devices as standard equipment.
Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 A6-ANW (msn 6000) was handed over to Air Arabia (United Arab Emirates) (Sharjah) on March 6 and wears a special emblem.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus.
RAK Airways (Ras al-Khaimah) remains grounded as we previously reported and will not return. Air Arabia (Sharjah) will become the official airline of Ras al-Khaimah. The airline signed a strategic partnership today with RAK’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the Persian Gulf Arab sheikdoms and part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its name means “Top of the Tent”. The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE.
Air Arabia today issued this statement:
Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Ras Al Khaimah announced today (February 2) that it has signed a strategic partnership with Air Arabia, enabling the airline to become the Emirate’s designated carrier operating services from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Connecting Ras Al Khaimah to several destinations in the region, the major new collaboration is set to witness a significant increase in the number of destinations accessible to residents of Ras Al Khaimah and neighboring Northern Emirates.
The launch of partnership between the low-cost pioneer and the Department of Civil Aviation, RAK is expected to support Ras Al Khaimah’s standing as an attractive tourist destination, while acting as a key catalyst for the further economic development of the Emirate. The development also means that Air Arabia now becomes the official carrier of Ras Al Khaimah Emirate.
Describing the partnership as a “unique collaboration,” His Excellency Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Ras Al Khaimah said: “Today’s announcement is a natural step in the next stage of Ras Al Khaimah’s aviation development, driven by the Emirate’s steady economy, expanding population, growing industrial activity, and tourism. We are delighted to be entering into a strategic agreement with an extremely successful airline and are confident about the benefits this partnership will bring to the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah.”
He added: “As Ras Al Khaimah continues to position itself as an attractive tourist destination, we are confident that this partnership will help us achieve our long-term goals, benefiting from Air Arabia’s operational track record, impressive network and management expertise.”
Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia said: “Joining hands with DCA, Ras Al Khaimah in this new partnership aims at further developing the aviation industry in the northern Emirates and support Ras Al Khaimah’s ambitious economic plans. The Emirate’s tourism sector is witnessing a strong and steady growth and we are optimistic that this will continue to grow in the years to come.”
Ali continued: “The major collaboration is a true reflection of the strength of the UAE aviation infrastructure and potential growth. Furthermore, we are extremely confident that the launch of Air Arabia’s operations in Ras Al Khaimah Airport will further transform the travel and tourism sectors in the Emirate as well as provide customers with great accessibility and value for money air travel.”
Established in October 2003, Air Arabia PJSC, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, currently operates services to 90 destinations covering the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent from three operating hubs in Sharjah, UAE; Alexandria, Egypt; and Casablanca, Morocco.
The Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah is responsible for operation and regulation of the air transport system in Ras Al Khaimah. The DCA was established in 1974 to support the Emirate’s economic and social development.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air Arabia). Airbus A320-214 A6-ANB (msn 4524) with special “10 Years” logo celebrating its 10th Anniversary arrives back at the Sharjah hub.
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