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Air Arabia has mega plans in India


August 13, 2005: Low cost carrier Air Arabia, which operates daily flights on the Mumbai-Sharjah sector, is upbeat on the Indian market, despite facing hazzles inn securing landing rights in various destinations. Naturally, the Gulf sector airline is trying to cash in on the booming Indian population in the United Arab Emirates.

With even the Kerala state government announcing its intentions to start a low cost airline to assist Keralites flying in the sector and Air India Express too trying to expand its wings, Air Arabia doesn’t want to be a late entrant.

Air Arabia has put up an application with the Union Civil aviation ministry to get sanction for more flights, but it has not evoked any response. Though India’s aviation sector is growing at a rapid pace, its aviation infrastructure is a major cause of concern, preventing the entry of more flights in the scenario.

Air Arabia’s India operations earned it more than 10 per cent of its revenues, just after operating for six months. This was an eye opener for the fledgling airline. The Sharjah-based carrier is the first foreign low cost carrier to operate in India. 

The airline is even mulling entering into code sharing pacts with Indian low cost carriers like Spicejet and Air Deccan to expand its operations. Air Arabia has a fleet of five modern A320 aircraft.

The airline had announced a record 57% increase in number of passengers in July, compared to the same period the previous year. The airline flies from Sharjah to Alexandria, Beirut, Bahrain, Colombo, Damascus, Doha, Mumbai, Muscat, Kuwait, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Khartoum, Aleppo, Assiut, Sana'a, Luxor and Sharm El-Sheikh and has carried over a million passengers so far. 

As it increased its operations, the airline on July announced the addition of a ninth group of cabin crew, taking the number of cabin crew to 92. 



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