Air Arabia is to order 34 aircraft with either Boeing or Airbus by September this year, according to Reuters.

Air Arabia, the Middle East's largest low-cost carrier, is still negotiating the order for the short-haul planes.

The planned acquisitions come as a result of raising $700 million from an initial public stock offering in April and other financing, an Air Arabia spokesman said.

Air Arabia plans to increase its fleet to 52 aircraft by 2015 and will order 34 aircraft "worth as much as $2.38 billion" by September from European planemaker Airbus or its US rival Boeing.

The three-year old carrier, set up by the government of the Sharjah emirate, expects to increase its fleet to 52 by 2015/2016 from nine leased Airbus A320s.

Air Arabia, which made a profit of $8 billion in 2005, flies to 35 destinations in the Middle East and Asia.

The airline carried 1.7 million passengers last year, 54 % more than in 2005.

Chief executive Adel Ali expects the airline to carry 2.2 million passengers this year.

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