Air Arabia plans Balkan expansion

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.


  1. Anonymous09:17

    I think it would be really cool if flydubai launches flights to Dubrovnik. Especially if there is the interline agreement with Emirates in Dubai. On top of it all the route could also serve the Montenegrin and Bosnian market as well.

    I think Air Arabia will launch Belgrade flights next. The sheer fact that flydubai will be adding flights is an indicator that there is a considerable market between Serbia and the UAE.

  2. Anonymous12:02

    Air Arabia will be sucsesfull on the route from PRN to DXB because of the economic and tourists that travel thru this route. Many arabs that does buisnises in PRN but Dubai is an popular place to visit. I cant wait to travel.

  3. Aэrologic13:45

    You mean PRN to SHJ? I don't see Air Arabia launching BEG, unless FZ switches to EK, but even then, i'm not quite optimistic about it. EK+QR or EK+G9 is the maximum capacity that BEG needs, no need for a third direct carrier. Just pity they screwed up Pegasus, which would have opened the Balkans to the Middle East and Caucasus but hope that improves with the expected arrival of J2.

    1. Anonymous18:33

      Forget QR!
      Come on..who does them need when you can fly with a single stopover to every corner in Asia with Turkish Airlines! have double dailies.. packed!
      And QR thinks it can compete with its three times a week.
      The same applies to Zagreb and Sofia..
      i would love to see the grin in the faces of Turkish managers when thinking about QR!

      At all those airports there is only place for one single airline with business class to Asia...
      its the one that flies nonstop!

    2. Aэrologic21:55

      "And QR thinks it can compete with its three times a week" - Agree with that. The only competition right now to TK that's FZ and definitely EK if they decide to launch the flights. QR with thrice weekly is ridiculous and could be canceled shortly after, or re-routed at best.
      "Forget QR!
      Come on..who does them need when you can fly with a single stopover to every corner in Asia with Turkish Airlines!"
      That i don't agree. There are many corners of Asia not covered by TK but perfectly covered with QR.

    3. Anonymous02:00

      Well, for me, QRs baggage allowance for FFs makes the difference - I can take 33kg with QR, 20kg with TK and ridiculously priced overweight. And you can get to QR FF status for at least 14 months with just one return flight to Asia. Plus, QR is much stronger in Africa and Australia than TK.

      Now, if EK stepped in with their product, network and allowance, that would be an entirely different story. Especially comparing DXB to the hellhole DOH is at the moment.

  4. Anonymous18:26

    Totally misleading headline,inventing facts which do not exist at all..
    What Balkan expansion.
    Its an expansion in Eastern Europe.
    We will not see very much of them beyound Prn.
    Maybe Sarajevo and Tirana thats all..

  5. Anonymous04:52

    hey guys... OT but if you book with , do you still receive full miles for your flights?

  6. Aэrologic10:52

    Yes, but you'll have to apply for them with your airline after completing the flight, they'll not be credited automatically.


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