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Air Arabia set for Dubai fleet order and closes on base selection

Middle Eastern budget carrier Air Arabia indicates that it will place an order for new aircraft at the Dubai Air Show, and has identified a strong candidate for its first base outside of Sharjah.

The carrier’s fleet entirely comprises Airbus A320s but while Air Arabia chief Adel Ali indicates that it will formally place an order at the show he declines to disclose whether it will remain exclusively an Airbus operator or introduce Boeing 737s.

Fleet requirements will be influenced by Air Arabia’s plans to establish a new base and station aircraft outside of its Sharjah home.

Air Arabia is narrowing a shortlist of potential candidates and, speaking to's sister premium news source, ATI, at the Arab Air Carriers Organisation conference in Damascus, Ali said the carrier hoped to reach a decision by the end of this year.

“We’re looking at more than one [location] but there’s one in particular that we’re talking about,” he says, but will not reveal further details.

Air Arabia has previously suggested that it would increase its fleet to 34 jets, two dozen more than it currently operates, following its initial public offering earlier this year. But Ali says the airline’s fleet renewal could ultimately cover “quite a few more” aircraft.

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