Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) has announced it will start flights to Southeast Asia using its incoming fleet of A321-200neo(LR)s. The Emirati low-cost carrier is expecting six of the jets to deliver from Airbus all of which will be leased from Air Lease Corporation. The first of the sextet, A6-ATA (msn 8714), is currently being prepared for hand-over.

Air Arabia said in a statement the A321neo(LR) will be used to launch 4x weekly Sharjah-Kuala Lumpur Int'l, Malaysia flights from July 1, 2019, onwards.

According to Routes Online, ahead of flights to Malaysia, Air Arabia will provisionally deploy the A321neo into service from March 31 onwards on flights from Sharjah to each of Cairo Int'l (Egypt), Jeddah and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).

Air Arabia currently operates a total of fifty-two A320ceo of which forty-one are in service with its UAE-based AOC, three are in service with Air Arabia Egypt, and eight in service with Air Arabia Maroc.

Airline chief executive Adel Ali recently told Bloomberg the carrier was working on placing an order for up to 100 aircraft later this year.

"We need to probably put in an order of up to 100 planes this year, and that should be done before sometime in the quarter two," he told Bloomberg TV in February. "We are talking to both Boeing and Airbus at this stage to see what fits us and the best commercial deal we can get."