Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Air Arabia takes off to Athens, Greece

Sharjah, April 21, 2009: Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, today launched non-stop service to the Greek city of Athens from the carrier’s main hub in Sharjah, UAE. The launch of this new destination is part of Air Arabia’s strategy to expand its operations to Europe.

The inaugural flight and delegation was marked by the attendance of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Development Authority, and the UAE Ambassador to Greece, Abdul Hadi Al-Khajah. The flight was accompanied by receptions in both Sharjah and Athens airports attended by special guests.

Roundtrip flights will operate three times per week between Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in the capital of Greece, and Air Arabia’s hub in Sharjah. Air Arabia is the first LCC in the Middle East commencing operations to Athens.

The LCC will fly to Athens on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing Sharjah at 18:55PM and arriving in Athens at 22:45PM. Return flights will depart Athens at 23:30PM and arrive in Sharjah at 05:20AM.

Air Arabia’s first destination in Greece is also the carrier’s first destination in a European Union country and the third destination on the European continent. In total, Air Arabia now serves 46 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia and Southern Europe.

AK Nizar, Head of Commercial Department, Air Arabia, said: “Greece is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU, and there is considerable passenger traffic between the country and the Middle East, particularly for tourism and business. We are delighted to now offer non-stop service between Sharjah, the cultural capital of the UAE, and Athens, one of the great cultural cities of Europe. We are confident that Athens will serve as a great holiday, personal travel and business destination for our passengers.”

Athens, the largest city in Greece, is one of the world's oldest cities with recorded history spanning some 3,400 years. A bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis, Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. It is rapidly becoming a leading business centre in the European Union.

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