Air Arabia – The Low-Cost Airline
As more and more air aviation companies come to realise that there is great potential for growth and profit in the low-cost commercial aviation market, we have seen a global trend of airlines that provide such services. The pioneer in the Middle East is Air Arabia, a totally independent company in its operations, it was established in February of 2003, by Amiri decree of the sultan of Sharjah, and commenced its operations in October of 2003 with a handful of aircraft. Having its base of operations in Sharjah International Airport with a hub in Ras Al Khaimah, its first flight was from Sharjah, UAE to Bahrain International Airport. Air Arabia is also a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization. It was one of the few airlines that went into profit from the get-go. In 2007 it made a public offering of 55% of its stock.
Fleet and Destinations
The Air Arabia Airlines fleet consists only of Airbus aircraft, mainly the Airbus A320-200. As of August 2016, it had in its operations 37 A320s. It is also awaiting delivery of six new Airbus A321neo which will be delivered starting 2019. An individual can take an Air Arabia flight to 116 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Europe.
Services and Joint Ventures
Engineering and Maintenance:
Being one of the first in the low-cost airline's category it has gained quite the popularity and has been able to set up its own engineering department that is responsible for all aspects of aircraft maintenance and repair. It not only keeps its own aircraft in check but also provides services to other airlines if required.
Besides having its own engineering and maintenance department, AirArabia also has the recognition of being the first low-cost airline in the region to offer a loyalty program; it is called Airrewards and is based on the price paid for the airline's services rather than miles travelled. The program offers flexibility in redeeming points without any blackout dates or limitation on availability. It works like money where 100 points are equal to US $1.
The airline has joint ventures with companies in Egypt and Morocco. The fruitful partnerships allowed for the formation of Air Arabia Egypt and Air Arabia Maroc. Both allowed for the expansion of the parent company’s services into Africa as well as Europe. The airline is also a major shareholder in Petra Airlines of Jordan.
Air Arabia Booking and Reservations
Having been in business for so long it has several offices and cooperation agreements with travel agencies and virtual travel agents throughout the areas where it operates. This allows its prospective customers the ease of getting an Air Arabia Booking or Reservation done. Through its virtual agents like checkin.pk, the customer can get online bookings done as well. They can also from the convenience of their homes and offices carry out an online check in if they have previously bought their ticket..