Air Arabia Maroc identifies London Stansted as first route

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Middle Eastern budget carrier Air Arabia is to launch operations with its new Moroccan division, 'Maroc', on 6 May with an initial connection to London Stansted.

The airline has been formally unveiled at a ceremony at Casablanca's Mohammed V Airport, featuring an aircraft in the Air Arabia Maroc livery - one of two which will form the initial fleet.

Created through a joint venture with a local Moroccan airline, the new carrier is to serve destinations in Europe and northern Africa.

Moroccan transport minister Karim Ghellab says the "significant" development will "expand the choice of affordable flights" in the kingdom.

Air Arabia Maroc took delivery of a brand new A320, acquired through International Lease Finance, earlier this year.

The aircraft carries a livery largely the same as that of Sharjah-based Air Arabia but which features the identifier 'Maroc' on the rear fuselage, along with the Moroccan flag.

Air Arabia Maroc is a partnership between AirArabia, the local operator Regional Air Lines, and Bahraini finance partner Ithmaar.

"We look forward to commencing our first flights in the next few days and contributing to the ongoing economic growth and tourism development of Morocco," says the new carrier's chairman, Mohamed Hassan Bensalah.