By: Yusuf M Hasan
DUBAI (Somalilandsun) – The Kuwaiti support to upgrading of international airports in Somaliland are set to be augmented by more from the UAE.
This development comes after Air Arabia a United Arab Emirates-UAE low cost airline committed to establishing flights to and from Somaliland through agreement signed with two ministers from Somaliland Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar and Mahmud Abdi Hashi of the Commerce/investment and Aviation dockets respectively in Dubai on the 14th Jan 2014.
following this arrangement Somaliland joins the existing over 88 destinations spread across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe operated by Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first, largest Low Cost Carrier (LCC) whose home base is Sharjah International Airport, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
According to the deal which was initiated back in the last quarter of 2013 after several meetings between the government of Somaliland and officials of Air Arabia, the airliner is expected to heavily invest in the country’s big airports where new roads as well as hotels are to be built thus enhancing the airports service provision capabilities further and in return the Emirati airliner shall use them, airports, as the nerve centre for its operational linkage to routes in the Middle east and West Africa.
said to be owned by one of the princes from Sharjah in UAE Air Arabia which reported a nine-month net profit of AED 341 million in 2013 and awarded best low-cost airline in the middle east the same year is the first publicly listed airline in the region providing the carrier an independent path to growth and profitability.
With this prestige and financial stability Egal and Berbera International airports in Somaliland join the Emirati airline’s operated scheduled services to 51 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe to 22 countries from Sharjah, 28 destinations in 9 countries from Casablanca, Fez, Nador, Tangier and Marrakesh and 6 destinations in 4 countries from Alexandria.
Apart from easing connections to various worldwide destinations passengers to and from Egal and Berbera international airports in Somaliland flying with Air Arabia shall also enjoy its low cost flights provided through an only Airbus A320 fleet of 34 new crafts and an existing order with Airbus for another similar 44 Airbuses.
Other peaks availed passengers include Group and Charter bookings, Best price guarantee hotel and car bookings among others.
With ongoing works at the two Somaliland international airports courtesy of Kuwaiti donated funds worth $15m and above the expected developments by the Emirati owned Air Arabia shall avail the country’s major entry and exit point’s world class service provision capabilities.
According to the Commerce and Investment minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar the entry of Air Arabia into the aviation industry and investment committed by its Emirati owners shall play a major part in the country’s economic development “Especially as pertains to availing much needed gainful employment opportunities”
“This is an important milestone not only in the country’s aviation and economic sectors but in the government’s quest for uplifting livelihoods country” said Dr Omar during an electronic interview with Somalilandsun.