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Sharjah-based Air Arabia is scheduled to begin flights to Urumqi in China later this month, becoming the first low-cost MENA airline to enter the Chinese market
According to Air Arabia officials, the carrier will fly regular non-stop flights to the Western China town of Urumqi starting 10 February 2015. The town is an industrial area with a population exceeding three million and a major transportation hub as well. It is considered a key gateway to the town of Xinjiang, which has vast reserves of oil and gas.
Adel A Ali, group CEO of Air Arabia, said, “The Chinese aviation sector has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years and we are delighted to be the first low-cost carrier from the MENA region to play an important role in this story. We have had our eye on the Chinese market for some time and are now ready to begin regular services to one of the world’s biggest economies. With a large population, strong economy and vibrant cultural scene, Urumqi represents an exciting first Chinese destination for us and we hope to add more routes over time. This is a major move for Air Arabia and an important step in strengthening connectivity between the rapidly growing economies of the Middle East and Asia.”
In addition, Air Arabia has announced a new international hub at Amman Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, following its acquisition of Petra Airlines. The deal will witness the existing principle shareholder of Petra Airlines RUM Group maintain a 51 per cent stake. The new partnership will also lead to the creation of Air Arabia Jordan, reinforcing the Sharjah carrier’s position in the low-cost aviation market in the MENA and Levant regions.