Air Arabia to battle flydubai for Ukraine budget market
Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, said on Monday it will launch direct flights to two new destinations in Ukraine next month.
The new services to Kharkiv and Donestsk will expand the airline's presence to three major cities in the country, including Kiev, with its global network reaching a total of 67 destinations.
The move comes as Dubai's low cost carrier flydubai announced its entry into Ukraine with the launch of flights to Kiev, Donetsk and Kharkov this month.
Beginning October 7 and 12, Air Arabia will offer flights to Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, and Donestsk, a major urban centre in eastern Ukraine with a population of 1.5 million.
"We are especially pleased to introduce two new destinations in Ukraine, a nation with strong economic and cultural ties with the UAE and wider Gulf region," said Adel Ali, group CEO, Air Arabia.
"Eight years and over 20 million passengers since Air Arabia pioneered the low-cost airline model in the Middle East and North Africa, we continue to set our sights on entering new markets and further expanding the reach of our award-winning service," Ali added in a statement.
The launch of service to two more Ukranian cities will complement Air Arabia's existing flights to Kiev, which the carrier serves five times a week.
Ukraine is the eighth most visited country in the world and its location at the cross-roads of Central, East, North and South Europe has long made it a popular tourist and transit spot within the region.