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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

How The Airbus A321XLR Will Fit Into Air Arabia’s Fleet

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  • Air Arabia has found success with its Airbus A321LR aircraft, allowing it to open new destinations and expand its operations significantly within four years.
  • The upcoming addition of Airbus A321XLR aircraft to its fleet will further enhance Air Arabia’s expansion plans, enabling nonstop flights to Europe, Asia, and Africa from its multiple hubs.
  • The A321XLR can cover a wide range of destinations, including potential new routes to cities like Douala, Kinshasa, Medan, and Berlin.

Air Arabia has six Airbus A321LR aircraft in its holdings. Since the model started arriving in the fleet in 2019, the twinjets have gone on to help the airline open new doors across its network as it expands across the continents. Still, there is even more distance to be covered in the coming years amid the 20 A321XLRs that the UAE-based carrier has on order.

Recent growth

During a meeting with Simple Flying at the Dubai Airshow last week, the low-cost carrier’s chief executive officer, Adel Abdullah Ali, was full of praise for his A321neo aircraft. Along with the comfort to be had on the 215-seat configured aircraft, the airline has been able to grow its operations significantly within four years.

Ali told Simple Flying:

“It is a fantastic airplane from a cabin point of view, but it allows us to fly further from a range point of view. So, it has enabled us to open destinations such as Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Moscow. We are very happy with the product and the size of the airplane. It’s still a narrowbody aircraft, but it carries 200+ passengers. So, we’ve had a good experience, but more importantly, the passengers like it.”

Further expansion

The A321XLR will be the perfect complement to the airline’s services. Following recent route launches, we can expect plenty more in the middle of this decade.

Ali explained:

“The XLR will enter industry service in the middle of next year. Once we get our deliveries in 2025/26, we will decide. Yet, in general, it allows us to fly nonstop to everywhere in Europe, it gives us almost the whole of Asia, all the way up to China and beyond. It also allows us to cover a great distance in Africa. As we get those, we can also expand routes from our other hubs, not just in Sharjah.”

Airbus A321XLR Specs
Photo: Airbus

This is an important factor to note. The airline has several subsidiaries, including Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, Air Arabia Egypt, Air Arabia Maroc, Fly Arna, and Fly Jinnah. Across the operation, there are seven hubs, which are as follows:

  • Sharjah International Airport, UAE
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE
  • Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, UAE
  • Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco
  • Borg El Arab International Airport, Egypt
  • Zvartnots International Airport, Armenia
  • Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan

With a maximum range of 4,700 NM / 8,700 km, the XLR can cover most of the Eastern Hemisphere from these sites. We previously noted that Douala, Kinshasa, Libreville, Medan, Surabaya, Marseille, Gothenburg, and Stuttgart could be likely contenders amid their positions. Metropolises such as Berlin could also benefit from additional service from the Middle East.

The next chapter

Still, the possibilities are practically endless. Notably, Ali was particularly excited about the success that its Pakistani operation has achieved since Fly Jinnah commenced operations last year. Thus, if XLR aircraft are based all the way from Morocco to Pakistan, the parent company has Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific well covered.

Air Arabia celebrated 20 years of operations last month. The airline has managed to adapt and evolve well with new technology introduced in the industry. Thus, it will reach new heights once again following the introduction of the A321XLR.

What are your thoughts about Air Arabia’s fleet? Are you excited about the Airbus A321XLR? Let us know what you think of the aircraft in the comment section.

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