Air Arabia’s Sharjah to Erbil
Air Arabia’s arrival in Erbil in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region was celebrated with a cake in the airline's colours, which was cut by Erbil International Airport's acting director general Emad Ibrahim; Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation; Sinan Abdulkhaliq Chalabi, Minister of Trade, Kurdistan Regional Government; Ahmed Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce; and Air Arabia's CEO Adel Ali (far right).
The 96% load factor on Air Arabia’s inaugural flight from Odessa to Sharjah, the airline’s fourth route to Ukraine, shows just how much potential the country has. Rohit Ramashandran, Air Arabia’s Director Sales and Marketing, remarked during the launch event: “This flight is particularly important for us, as it marks a new phase in the increased presence of Air Arabia in Ukraine and CIS.”
- Air Arabia continued expanding its Sharjah (SHJ) base in the UAE, launching two new routes in the last week. On 12 October, the low-cost airline launched its fourth route to Ukraine after Kiev, Donetsk and Kharkiv. The new flights to Odessa (ODS) initially operate once a week, increasing to twice-weekly from 6 November. At 3,200 kilometres, this is by far the longest route operated into the city in on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. Two days later, Air Arabia began serving Erbil (EBL) in northern Iraq – its second destination in the country after Najaf. Flights operate three times a week with the airline’s A320 aircraft. Indirect competition at nearby Dubai comes from Emirates’ daily and flydubai’s four weekly flights. Erbil’s airport director Talar Faiq commented: “Through its hub in Sharjah, Air Arabia offer great connectivity to the Indian sub continent, the Gulf and North Africa and I am sure their service here will be a great success.”