Air Arabia’s Sharjah to Hambantota
The launch of Air Arabia’s new route coincided with the official opening of Sri Lanka’s second international airport. The country’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa (pictured waving his hand), was onboard of the maiden flight to the airport and then went on to welcome Air Arabia’s arrival. Another Middle-Eastern LCC, flydubai, also visited throughout the day, although it will not start scheduled services to the airport until late May 2013.
- Air Arabia inaugurated operations on the route from its Sharjah (SHJ) base to Hambantota (HRI) in southeast Sri Lanka, on 18 March, becoming the first foreign airline to serve this recently commissioned airport. Twice-weekly flights on the 4,400-kilometre route, which is the airline’s second to Sri Lanka, are offered. Adel Ali, CEO of the Air Arabia Group, said: “Since inception about a decade ago, Air Arabia has prided itself on being an airline of firsts. Today, we are extremely delighted to become the first international carrier to arrive in Mattala, further reinforcing our commitment to expand our presence in Sri Lanka.” The airline plans to double the frequencies on the route starting 19 May.