Air Arabia to become first Middle East LCC to enter China

Air Arabia will operate the Urumqi route three times a week
Air Arabia will operate the Urumqi route three times a week

Air Arabia is set to be the first Middle Eastern low-cost carrier to enter the Chinese market when it touches down in Urumqi next month.

Starting 10 February 2015, the carrier will fly regular non-stop services to the largest city in Western China’s Xinjiang region.

“The Chinese aviation sector has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years and we are delighted to be the first low-cost carrier from the MENA region to play an important role in this incredible story,” said Adel A. Ali, group chief executive officer, Air Arabia.

“We have had our eye on the Chinese market for some time and are now ready to begin regular services to one of the world’s great economies. With a large population, strong economy and vibrant cultural scene, Urumqi represents an exciting first Chinese destination for us and we hope to add more routes over time.”

Ali added that it was “a major move for Air Arabia” and “an important step in strengthening connectivity between the rapidly growing economies of the Middle East and Asia”.

Air Arabia will fly three times weekly to Urumqi from its main hub in Sharjah, UAE. Flights will depart Sharjah International Airport on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 0935, arriving at Urumqi International Airport at 1815 that evening. Return flights will leave Urumqi on the same days at 1905 and arrive in Sharjah at 2045.

The route will be operated using a 166-seat, single-aisle Airbus A320 aircraft.

Urumqi, which has a large Muslim population, is already connected to the UAE with China Southern Airlines‘ service to Dubai.

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