Air Arabia and Dal Group to start a new low-cost airline in Sudan

Air Arabia Sudan will be based at Khartoum International Airport and operate a fleet of new Airbus A320 aircraft

Air Arabia Sudan is a joint venture low-cost airline and will be based in Khartoum. Photo: Air Arabia
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Middle East budget airline Air Arabia and Sudanese conglomerate Dal Group have partnered to launch a new low-cost airline based at Khartoum International Airport.

Air Arabia Sudan will be a joint venture between the two companies, they said in a joint statement on Thursday, without providing details on the ownership structure.

"We are confident that Air Arabia Sudan will add significant value to the air transport sector of Sudan and directly contribute to the growth of the local economy and the development of the travel and tourism sector," said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.

The move is the latest in a series of JV agreements by Air Arabia to launch new budget airlines.

UAE-listed Air Arabia signed JV deals to establish new airlines in Abu Dhabi in 2020, and in Armenia and Pakistan in 2021.

Air Arabia Sudan will operate a fleet of new Airbus A320 aircraft. the statement said.

The Khartoum-based start-up will adopt the low-cost business model operated by Air Arabia on its existing network, it said.

Work on obtaining the relevant approvals and licences is scheduled to start shortly, while details on the route network, fleet size and scheduled services will be communicated in due course, the companies said.

In addition to its flag carrier, Sudan Airways, the north African country is home to the privately-owned Badr Airlines.

Yerevan-based Fly Arna, a tie-up between Air Arabia and the Armenian National Interests Fund, received its air operator certificate (AOC) in June 2022. In July, the carrier launched direct flights connecting the Armenian capital to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

Fly Jinnah, Air Arabia's joint venture with Pakistani conglomerate Lakson Group, is expected to receive its AOC "soon", Adel Ali, Air Arabia group chief executive, said in July.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the low-cost JV with Etihad Airways, recently marked its second anniversary after its launch at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic on July 14, 2020.

Air Arabia operates a network of bases in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Egypt and Morocco. The airline has been pushing ahead with expansion since the pandemic after betting on a recovery in short-haul travel demand.

Air Arabia posted a surge in second-quarter profit as the number of passengers carried nearly tripled during a rebound in air travel demand.

Net profit for the three months ended June 30 jumped to Dh160 million ($43.57m) from Dh10m in the same quarter last year. The airline's revenue for the period more than doubled to Dh1.11 billion, from Dh496m in the second quarter of 2021.

Updated: September 22, 2022, 2:33 PM