Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) has turned to lessors in order to continue its fleet growth as the first deliveries of its 120 aircraft on order directly from Airbus have slipped from the fourth quarter of 2024 to the first half of 2025, CEO Adel Abdullah Ali told Dubai's Gulf News.

"To grow the business, we have leased airplanes. Last year, we got about ten. This year, we are getting about eight. So we should be just over 90 airplanes by the end of 2024, which is within our target. In 2025, we will start receiving 120 orders in phases over five years," he explained.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Air Arabia currently operates thirty-six A320-200s, three A321-200s, and six A321-200NX(LR)s. Subsidiary Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has a fleet of ten A320-200s, Air Arabia Egypt four A320s, Air Arabia Maroc eleven A320s, and Fly Jinnah five A320s, for a combined total of 75 aircraft.

So far, the group has taken four second-hand A320s in 2024, excluding intragroup transfers: two for the Sharjah-based AOC and two for Air Arabia Maroc. The four newly leased units are owned by SMBC Aviation Capital (two), Aviation Capital Group, and BOC Aviation (one each), the ch-aviation fleets ownership module shows. The carrier is poised to induct leased A320-200Ns later this year.

The group has a firm order for seventy-three A320-200Ns, twenty-seven A321-200NX, and twenty A321-200NY(XLR)s directly from the manufacturer.

Ali dismissed talk of any new orders in the near future, saying that the airline would focus first on integrating the 120 new aircraft. It is also waiting out the current supply chain issues and geopolitical crises.

"Let us look at the geopolitical issues and let the world become a calmer place. Let us hope the supply chain sorts itself out and all the engines in today's world become more mature. If all those happen, and the business continues to grow, we will need more aircraft, and we will order," he said.

The LCC does not plan to expand into the widebody sector as its current narrowbody-only business model is working, Ali emphasised, adding that with the additional range of the A321-200NY(XLR)s, the airline will be able to serve the market well without widebody aircraft.