Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, today launched non-stop service to the Iraqi Capital, Baghdad, from the carrier's main hub in Sharjah, UAE.
The inaugural flight and delegation was marked by the attendance of Air Arabia Chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, and Air Arabia Group Chief Executive Officer, Adel Ali along with the Iraqi Consul General, guests from the trade community and members of the press. The flight was accompanied by receptions in both Sharjah and Baghdad airports followed by a press conference in Baghdad City.
"We are delighted to be here in Baghdad to inaugurate Air Arabia's introduction of direct service from Sharjah," said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia. "All of us at Air Arabia are grateful to our Iraqi counterparts for their ongoing support as we help forge even stronger bonds between our two nations".
Sheikh Al Thani continued: "Both Sharjah and Baghdad are vibrant business hubs in their respective nations, and we are very optimistic that today's announcement will further boost close economic and social ties between the UAE and Iraq. Air Arabia's maiden flight to Baghdad underscores a significant milestone in this strong relationship, and we are committed to offering increased connectivity between both countries, which is an important catalyst of increased economic growth".
The low-cost pioneer will start three weekly services between Sharjah and Baghdad to be increased to five weekly services in the coming weeks. Flights depart from Sharjah International Airport at 14:30 and arrives Baghdad International Airport at 16:10. Return flights on the same days will depart Baghdad at 16:50 and arrive in Sharjah at 20:05 (local time).
Driven by ever-increasing demand from business travellers, Iraq has become a key destination for Air Arabia over the last year, which is why the carrier now operates 17 services to the country every week. Baghdad is the latest addition to Air Arabia's network in Iraq that includes Basra, Erbil, and Najaf.