Sharjah, UAE-based LCC Air Arabia is launching another international joint venture (JV), this time in Sudan.
Air Arabia plans to set up a new airline with DAL Group, a Sudanese conglomerate. To be known as Air Arabia Sudan, it will also be an LCC. DAL Group has interests in multiple areas, including the automotive, earthmoving, energy and industrial gases sectors.
This will be the third such venture announced by Air Arabia in a little over a year. The company is partnering with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) on Fly Arna, which has recently begun operations, while Fly Jinnah is a JV with Pakistan’s Lakson Group; it is expected to start flying shortly.
Meanwhile, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Etihad Airways, has already expanded to nine based aircraft and is scheduled to grow to 20 by the end of 2023.
Air Arabia Sudan will be based at Khartoum International Airport (KRT) and use Airbus A320s, although it is as yet unclear as to whether the new carrier will operate aircraft from the existing Air Arabia fleet, or whether more will need to be acquired. Work on securing the relevant approvals and licenses is “scheduled to commence shortly,” the partners said.
Number of aircraft, timescales for the new airline to start operations and details on shareholdings and route networks will be released “in due course,” the two companies said Sept. 22.
“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,” Air Arabia Chairman Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani said.
“Our decision to partner with a leading pioneer of low-cost air travel is driven by our core commitment to perpetually contribute towards realizing Sudan’s long-term human and economic growth and development potential,” DAL Group chairman Osama Daoud Abdellatif said. “Our nation enjoys a unique untapped potential, and we are therefore steadfastly committed to developing the diverse aspects of Sudan’s tourism, travel, cargo transport and aviation infrastructure sectors.”
Attracting foreign direct investment to Sudan is aimed at least partly at improving employment opportunities, DAL Group added. Sudan is one of Africa’s poorest nations.
Air Arabia also has two African sister companies, based in Egypt and Morocco.