Tourism Industry News

Air Arabia To Launch Morocco Hub

01/04/2009 11:46

Low-cost carrier Air Arabia is aiming to launch its Morocco hub by May and is waiting for market conditions to improve to finance the acquisition of 44 aircraft, its chief executive said.


The region's largest budget carrier by market value said in February it would launch its Casablanca operations at the end of March. "It's a work in progress. When you're trying to get an operating certificate for an airline you progress with the government authorities," Adel Ali told reporters on Tuesday.


"We have aircrafts delivered, ready to go to Morocco and operate. As soon as the logistics are sorted out we will be ready to operate and it should not be long," he said, adding it was targeting the end of April or early May. The aim is to have about 25 aircraft flying out of the Moroccan city to at least 60 destinations in Europe and Africa within five years, Ali said.


Air Arabia has a fleet of 16 A320 aircraft, and has placed an order for 44 additional A320s from Airbus, according to the airline's website. Delivery of the aircraft, worth around USD$55 million each, would take about five years, Ali said.


"We see no issue with financing the airplanes," Ali said. "We could have done it earlier. The only reason we are not doing it is that it's not the right time to get into that." The airline is in ongoing discussions with local and international financial firms "to get the best deal available", he said, without elaborating.



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