Air Arabia delays Jordan plans amid unrest, fuel prices

DUBAI Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:25am EDT

DUBAI (Reuters) - Low-cost carrier Air Arabia AIRA.DU has delayed plans to establish a hub in Jordan due to regional unrest and soaring fuel prices, the airline's CEO said on Tuesday.

"With the current environment, we have delayed the Jordan plans... we will review the situation and take a decision," Adel Ali told Reuters by telephone.

The airline, set up in 2003 in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, had planned to open a hub in Jordan in June. It also has a hub in Morocco and launched operations in its third hub in Egypt last year.

Public protests have swept through North Africa and the Middle East, forcing leaders to step down in Egypt and Tunisia and sparking a violent struggle in Libya and Syria, which borders Jordan. Sporadic protests have also been held in Jordan.

"Jordan is stable but countries like Syria, Egypt and Tunisia are still facing political instability. There is a lot going on in the region and with the current fuel prices, we thought this was not the right time," said Ali.

Air Arabia ended 0.3 percent higher on the Dubai bourse, whose index .DFMGI gained 0.7 percent. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)

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