Middle Eastern budget carrier Air Arabia has signalled an impending new aircraft order which could be unveiled within the next five months.

Air Arabia is already expecting to take delivery of three more long-range Airbus A321LR jets by the end of this year, having recently received two of the 215-seat type.

But the Sharjah-based company, during a first-half briefing, stated that a "possible" new aircraft order was set to "take place in the third or fourth quarter".

Air Arabia has not indicated the scale of the planned fleet deal or the aircraft types under consideration.

It is currently an exclusive Airbus operator with 53 A320s, alongside the A321LRs, of which 40 are stationed at Sharjah.

Another 10 are based with its Air Arabia Maroc division in Morocco with the other three assigned to its Egyptian hub.

Air Arabia opened new medium-haul services from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur, Tunis and Bishkek in July and is intending to start operating to Vienna in September.

These routes followed 10 other connections which began in the first half, including links from Casablanca to Lisbon, Prague, Pisa and Tunis plus Sharm el-Sheikh to Milan, Amman and Luxor.

Air Arabia increased capacity by 4% in the first half. It generated a net profit rise approaching 50% for the six months, totalling Dhs338 million ($92 million), as revenues increased by 20% to DHs2.2 billion.

Source: FlightGlobal.com