AirArabia plans to expand business in Bangladesh: group CEO

Holiday Post; DHAKA, Feb 17, 2024 – Terming Bangladesh as a key route, group CEO of the largest middle eastern low cost carrier AirArabia Adel Abdullah Ali has said his airline is planning to expand business here being optimistic to see its aviation growth.

“The current trend of Bangladesh’s aviation growth gives us a positive feeling that it will continue, we are looking at business opportunities…we have more plan regarding Bangladesh,” he told BSS.

The chief executive officer (CEO) talked to the national news agency during his recent Dhaka visit marking the maiden tour of Bangladesh by a group CEO of Air Arabia in its 20 years of global and 17 years of operation in Bangladesh.

Ali said that Bangladesh is a suitable place for the aviation business as evidenced by Air Arabia’s business growth by three to four percent year-on-year.

Air Arabia, the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa based in Sharjah, UAE, started operations in 2003 by introducing its low-cost business model to the region while it began operations in Bangladesh in 2007.

“We have been doing business successfully in Bangladesh for the past 17 years. Bangladesh-UAE is one of the key routes of Air Arabia,” Ali said.

Currently, Air Arabia is operating 57 non-stop weekly flights to and from two Bangladesh destinations – capital Dhaka and Port City Chattogram.

Regarding flight frequency, the group CEO said that AirArabia would think about increasing flights to and from Bangladesh depending on the situation.

He said when the economy of a country like Bangladesh grows at a quick pace, more airlines come and the frequency of flights also increases, which is a win-win situation for everybody.

Currently, AirArbia with seven strategic hubs located in UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Armenia and Pakistan is operating more than 190 international and domestic routes in around 50 countries with the fleet size of 73 Airbus A320 and A321 planes.

The airline has an existing order for a total of 120 Airbus A320 family aircraft – 736 A320neo, 27 A3212neo-LR and 210 A321 XLR – with deliveries starting in 2025.
Ali said AirArbia will cover all European destinations within two years after getting the A321 XLR aircraft that can fly more than 8 hours.

The CEO said his carrier brought a change the way air travel was perceived in the Arab world by opening it up to all segments of the community and putting air travel within everyone’s reach with reasonable ticket price.

He said that the expatriate Bangladeshis in Middle East could visit their families back home once every three years in the past but currently the Air Arabia created the opportunities for them to visit their country even thrice in one year.

It is amongst the world’s best-performing airlines in terms of operational efficiency and profitability, he added.

AirArabia regional general manager Rajesh Nurala and the airline’s general sales agent (GSA) in Bangladesh MGH CEO Abdur Rahim were present.

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