JEDDAH: UAE airline Air Arabia has signed an agreement to launch Armenia’s new national airline.
The agreement, signed with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) at Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, is to set up a new low-cost carrier
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Avinyan and Sheikh Abdullah Bun Mohammed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.
The CEO of ANIF, David Papazian, said in a press statement: “We are excited to launch a new national low-cost carrier for Armenia that will contribute significant value to the economy and energize our travel and tourism sector.”
The name of the new carrier will be decided as part of a four-week open competition, in which Armenians have been invited to submit suggestions.
Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia Adel Al Ali said in a statement: “We see tremendous potential for Armenia in building its airline sector, which will add sustained value to the economy through job creation and the development of the travel and tourism sector.”
The new carrier will help develop Armenia’s tourism sector, which in 2019 accounted for 11.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 12.5 percent of total employment.
Listed on the Dubai Financial Market, Air Arabia currently operates five hubs in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Egypt and Morocco. It already has a joint venture with Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, which began operations last year and now operates to 15 destinations.
Air Arabia reported a 192.1 million dirhams ($52.30 million) loss last year.