Air Arabia denies new Abu Dhabi carrier will focus on India flights

UAE-based low cost carrier slams media reports, saying no announcement has been made regarding plans for Air Arabia Abu Dhabi

Air Arabia announced plans for new Abu Dhabi carrier last month.

Air Arabia on Wednesday denied reports that its new Abu Dhabi airline will focus on flights between India and Abu Dhabi following the collapse of Jet Airways.

Earlier, it was reported that Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a new venture launched with Etihad Airways, will take over most of the 100 slot pairs for the market held by Etihad after ally Jet Airways failed this year.

Media reports suggested that the Middle East’s biggest low-cost carrier could deploy around 70 percent of the 100 short-haul jets it’s planning to order at the new venture.

But an Air Arabia spokesperson told Arabian Business in an emailed statement: “Air Arabia categorically denies unfounded reports issued today by Bloomberg and a section of the media regarding Air Arabia Abu Dhabi plans and future operations.

Etihad, Air Arabia ink deal to set up new low-cost carrier

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport

“We have not issued any official statement regarding our growth strategy nor has any official interview taken place with any news agency.

“We are disappointed that distorted statements are made without any basis and disclaim any merit to the false report. We will announce growth plans as such when they are finalised and through our official channels.”

Air Arabia announced plans for new Abu Dhabi carrier last month.

Based in Abu Dhabi, the new company will adopt the low-cost business model. Its board of directors, consisting of members nominated by Etihad and Air Arabia, will steer the company’s independent strategy and business mandate.

The MENA low-cost air travel model was first introduced in the UAE in 2003 and has been rapidly growing since. Today, the Middle East market enjoys the third highest gains in intra-regional low-cost carrier penetration rate. Low-cost carriers accounted for 17 percent share of seat capacity to and from the Middle East in 2018, compared to only 8 percent in 2009.

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