DUBAI, Oct 29 — Air Arabia, a low-cost airline in the Gulf region, said it will start flying from its home base Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to several cities in China by 2014, according to media reports.
Air Arabia group chief executive Adel Abdullah Ali said his airline has been given permission to fly to several Chinese cities, Xinhua cited from a report in the daily The National.
However, Ali said he could not reveal the exact Chinese cities his airline would fly to as yet, because Air Arabia does not conduct long-haul flights longer than five hours. The report speculated that the carrier would focus destinations in the West and central-West of China, such as Chengdu.
The airline flies with 32 Airbus A320 planes to 82 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Besides its headquarters airport in Sharjah, it also runs hubs in Alexandria, Egypt, and Casablanca in Morocco.
The UAE has intensified trade and tourism relations with China in recent years, as there are about 200,000 Chinese citizens live in the Gulf state.
In the first six months this 2013, Air Arabia earned a net income of $36.54 million dollars, representing a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2012.