(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Air Arabia, the low-cost pioneer in the Middle East and North Africa, on Monday officially inaugurated its service to Erbil, Iraq.
The first flight was accompanied by a high profile delegation that included Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, along with the chairman and Board Members of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce.
Flight G90375 landed at Erbil International Airport at 13:10 and was greeted by officials from the Iraqi Government, UAE Consul General Abdelrahman Al Tuneji, Erbil Airport officials and members of the press. Air Arabia will offer four weekly services between Sharjah and Erbil, with flights operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi said: "Sharjah and Erbil are both important business and cultural hubs in their respective nations, and I am confident that the launch of Air Arabia's flights will help to foster close economic and social ties between the two cities. Our delegation to Erbil represents a significant milestone in this relationship, while also providing an opportunity to showcase the many business opportunities that exist in the Emirate of Sharjah."
"Air Arabia is delighted to touch down in Erbil" said Adel Ali, Group chief executive officer, Air Arabia.
"Over the past few years, the city of Erbil has grown steadily to become an important economic hub in Iraq. The launch of four direct flights from Sharjah each week will offer customers a unique value driven product, while strengthening economic ties between the UAE and Iraq."
Ahmed Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, said: "We are extremely delighted to be part of Air Arabia's inaugural flight to Erbil. This visit will further strengthen the ties between both countries and showcase Sharjah to the business community in Erbil".
With the launch of new services, Air Arabia will operate 13 weekly flights between Sharjah and Iraq. In addition to offering non-stop flights to Erbil, Air Arabia provides a daily service to Najaf. The carrier will also begin new services to Basra in Southern Iraq on November 4, 2012.
Air Arabia, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, is the Middle East and North Africa's leading low-cost carrier. Air Arabia commenced operations in October 2003 and currently operates a total fleet of 31 new Airbus A320 aircraft, serving 80 routes from three hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt.