Article Written by Jamie Clarke
LONDON – On April 13th 2019, Middle Eastern based carrier Air Arabia took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo LR (New Engine Option Long Range) variant – A6-ATA.
This is the first of six A321neo LR’s Air Arabia have on order from a lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation. The aircraft flew from Airbus’ manufacturing facility in Hamburg to their base in Sharjah, UAE.
With this new delivery, Air Arabia becomes the first Middle Eastern airline to operate the A321neo LR, in which the aircraft will aid in strengthening existing routes with increased seat capacity and enable Air Arabia to expand into new medium-haul markets.
At present Air Arabia Group’s fleet consists of 53 Airbus A320 family aircraft and they currently serve more than 155 routes across the globe from their 4 hubs, 2 in the UAE, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah and 2 in Africa, Morocco and Egypt.
Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer, Adel Al Ali has commented on the new delivery: “We are glad to welcome the first A321neo LR to our fleet, which marks another milestone in Air Arabia’s journey.”
“The addition of this new aircraft allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model.”
“We look forward to receiving the remaining aircraft in 2019 as we continue to offer our customers an excellent product with more destinations to discover.”
Also commenting on the new delivery, Air Lease Corporation’s Executive Chairman, Steven F. Udvar-Házy has said:
“We are pleased to announce the delivery of this first of six new A321-200neo LR aircraft with Air Arabia and be the first to introduce the A321LR to the region today.”
“This delivery is particularly significant as this is ALC’s first A321-200neo LR aircraft. A key addition to Air Arabia’s fleet, the A321-200neo LR offers dynamic long-range optimization and increased capacity as the airline expands into new destinations.”
The new A321LR is powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines and can accommodate 215 passengers in Air Arabia’s new start of the art economy cabin interior. The new interior includes new generation seats which provide customers with extra comfort.
In my opinion, Air Arabia will benefit hugely with the addition of these six new A321neo LR aircraft enabling them to reduce operational costs with the incredible fuel efficiency of the aircraft, but also maximizing their low-cost business model by opening the doors to newer destinations.