Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) has issued a statement following recent media reports concerning the plans and future operations of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Int'l), which was launched last month, and is to operate from Etihad Airways' base in Abu Dhabi Int'l.

According to the now refuted reports, the planned low-cost carrier (LCC) venture between Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) and Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) was apparently targetting the schedule gap in the Indian market which has been created following the demise of Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l), and would utilise most of its now unused slot pairs. Etihad held a controlling 24% stake in Jet Airways prior to its collapse.

Also now denied is that a plan had been formulated by Air Arabia Chief Executive Officer Adel Ali to use the majority of a 100 short-haul aircraft order allegedly in the works for the new LCC. In addition, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi was also said to have been earmarked to also fly to destinations in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, but these assertions have now been sidelined.

In a clarification statement issued on November 6, an Air Arabia stated it had “not issued any official statement regarding our growth strategy nor has any official interview taken place with any news agency”. Air Arabia clarified it will announce plans for the LCC “when they are finalised and through our official channels”.

Prior to its demise, Jet Airways was operating flights from Mumbai Int'l, Pune and Delhi Int'l into Abu Dhabi, yet just two years before, it had connections from eight Indian airports and flew 70 frequencies per week on those routes.