Sharjah: Air Arabia said on Monday it carried a record 5.3 million passengers in 2012, marking a 13 per cent increase over the previous year, as the budget carrier launched several new routes in the year.
The year saw the carrier launch flights from its primary hub in Sharjah to nine new destinations – Kazan, Taif, Salalah, Ufa, Odessa, Erbil, Astana, Basra and Rostov.
It also increased frequencies to many routes including Moscow, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Doha, Kuwait, Najaf, Karachi, Peshawar and Delhi.
Additionally, the airline said it continued its expansion from its hubs in Morocco and Egypt reaching a global network of 82 cities.
Air Arabia took delivery of six new aircraft in 2012 as part of an order for 44 aircraft placed in 2007. The airline said that the delivery of the 44 new aircraft will be completed by 2016, and will more than double the size of Air Arabia’s fleet. The airline also took delivery of its first Sharklet equipped aircraft from Airbus last week, making it the first Middle Eastern carrier to operate a Sharklet equipped A320 aircraft. The airline is expected to receive five more aircraft this year.