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April 18, 2024
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Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is rapidly growing its presence in India, announcing four new routes to the country this month. The latest and seventh addition is Ahmedabad, which will be served from May 13. Air Arabia Abu Dhabi grows its presence in India.

On April 6, the low-cost airline announced it would start services between Abu Dhabi and Jaipur from May 5 on Mondays and Thursdays. Five days later, it communicated the launch of services to Chennai from April 27 on Wednesdays and Mondays. From May 12, the carrier will serve Mumbai three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. A day later, services are scheduled to Ahmedabad on Mondays and Fridays. In Q4 last year, the airline launched services from Abu Dhabi to Calicut, Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram in the South of India and also added Delhi to the network.

Ahmedabad is the 21st destination in the network of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, which is a joint venture between Sharjah-based Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. The airline started flights from Abu Dhabi in July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. Following the easing of travel restrictions in Q2 last year, the carrier expanded its network to include Sarajevo, Tbilisi, Trabzon, and Yerevan, with Baku added in Q3. Late last March, it announced Istanbul as its seventeenth destination, starting services on April 29 and offering twice-weekly services on Fridays and Sundays.

Map showing the network of Air Arabia as of early March 2022. In orange is the network of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. (Air Arabia)

Air Arabia produced an AED 720 million in 2021 compared to AED -192 million in 2020. It doesn’t specify the results of its individual subsidiaries in Sharjah, Morocco, Egypt, and Abu Dhabi, but Group CEO Adel Al Ali told AirInsight at last November’s Dubai Airshow that all units had performed strongly in 2021.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi operates its routes with just four Airbus A320ceo’s, but the group has 120 A320neo-family aircraft on order for delivery from 2024, including 73 A320neo’s, 27 A321neo’s, and 20 A321XLRs. These will be shared across the different subsidiaries. On the sidelines of the CAPA Aviation Leader Summit early in April, Etihad CEO Tony Douglas said that his airline will likely transfer some or all of its 26 A321neo’s to Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. The aircraft have been in the backlog since the 2013 Dubai Airshow and were originally scheduled for delivery in 2020, but Etihad deferred deliveries during the pandemic.  

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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