01 November 2011
His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Supreme Council Member, today toured a range of key aviation infrastructure projects in the emirate, highlighting the importance of the sector to Sharjah’s long-term economic growth and diversification.
Accompanying His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi during this visit were: His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah; His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah; His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation in Sharjah and Chairman of Air Arabia And Excellencies members of the Sharjah Executive Council.
This high-level delegation visit coincided with the eight anniversary of the launch of Air Arabia, the low-cost pioneer in the Middle East and North Africa, whose first flight took off from Sharjah International Airport in October 2003.
His Highness Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated a range of projects, including a new, state-of-the-art Air Arabia hangar that has been designed to meet all the maintenance, repair and overhaul requirements of the entire Air Arabia fleet, while also servicing other airlines and aircraft travelling through Sharjah International Airport.
Currently staffed by 165 skilled professionals, the Air Arabia hangar is anticipated to employ 500 staff by 2017.
His Highness Ruler of Sharjah also inspected and inaugurated Air Arabia’s new, US$10 million flight simulator, which will be used to provide world-class flight training for up to 400 pilots per year – including from Air Arabia and other regional and international carriers. Providing significant cost savings for the Sharjah-based airline, the flight simulator also represents an investment in the long-term knowledge transfer capacities of Air Arabia and, more generally, the emirate of Sharjah.
His Highness Ruler of Sharjah concluded the tour by inaugurating the Centro Sharjah Hotel, which is located adjacent to Sharjah International Airport and just 15 minutes from the city centre. A modern, stylish and affordable lifestyle business hotel, the Centro Sharjah features 306 rooms and suites, two well-equipped meeting rooms, and a range of dining options.
“We are deeply honoured by the presence of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, who has expressed his appreciation for the great effort that has been invested in expanding and upgrading the aviation infrastructure in and around Sharjah International Airport,” said the Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation in Sharjah and Air Arabia Chairman, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Thani.
“We are also grateful to the members of the delegation who have now seen first-hand the range of new projects that have been implemented here in Sharjah to support the growth of the aviation sector and ancillary services,” he added. “Overall, these projects will make a significant contribution to the ongoing economic expansion of the emirate as well as the country.”
Air Arabia, over the past eight years, has received several global awards for its outstanding business model and management performance. The airline, which introduced the concept of low cost travel to the region in 2003, managed to diversify its investment portfolio by investing in major projects to support the growth of the company on one hand and the growth of the aviation industry locally and regionally on the other.