Air Arabia could become a more common sight in EX-YU
The low cost Sharjah based airline, Air Arabia, is planning further expanding into the Balkans after announcing the launch of its flights to Priština from November 22. The airline sees the Balkans as an important part of its future growth, its CEO, Adel Ali, says. “Ever since we began operations nine years ago, Air Arabia has prided itself on being an airline of firsts. We are pleased to become the first UAE carrier to offer a scheduled service to Kosovo”, Ali says. “We are confident the launch of our first destination in the Balkan Peninsula will bring great benefits to the economic ties between the UAE and Kosovo and will support Air Arabia’s rapidly expanding network in Eastern Europe”.
Air Arabia surprised many when it launched flights to Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina last year. However, the service proved to be unsustainable and was cancelled shortly after. Air Arabia sees Turkish Airlines and Pegasus as its biggest rivals on its flights to Priština, as they have been carrying the majority of transit passengers from the city to the Middle East up until now. In 2011, some 9.000 passengers travelled between Priština and the United Arab Emirates, transiting through various airports.
Flydubai, which launched flights from Dubai to Skopje on Thursday, was hoping to attract passengers from Priština as well, with an advertising campaign targeting potential passengers from Kosovo. At the recent World Route Development Forum in Abu Dhabi, Dubrovnik Airport held talks with Flydubai, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways regarding possible flights from the UAE and Qatar to the sea side city in the coming year.