Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia is to start flights to Yanbu on 1 November.

Yanbu is a major port on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, about 350 kilometres north of Jeddah. It is a major petroleum shipping terminal and petrochemicals centre.

“In July this year, Air Arabia started its flights to the city of Gassim in KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] and today we are extremely pleased to introduce our new service between Sharjah and Yanbu, which marks the sixth destination in Saudi Arabia reachable via Air Arabia,” says AK Nizar, head of the commercial department at Air Arabia.

The airline recorded a net profit of $14m in the second quarter of 2011, a 2 per cent rise on the net profit achieved in the same time last year (MEED 3:8:11).

Air Arabia is due to take delivery of four more Airbus A320 aircraft later this year in line with plans to expand the size of its fleet by 2016. Its existing fleet comprises 16 aircraft.