Transgulf Express, the first low-cost airline based in the Middle East, has today decided to become an Airbus operator for the "no frills" flights that it will begin offering to destinations in the Middle East and India, beginning this autumn.

An agreement between Transgulf Express and GATX for the lease of three Airbus A320s for these services was concluded at the Le Bourget airshow this week. These will be complemented by a further three leased A320s, which will join the fleet by year-end.

Sharjah-based Transgulf Express will be the first airline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to operate Airbus' modern A320 family. It will also be the first low-cost airline to fly from the UAE, offering passengers an inexpensive "no frills" alternative.

Each of the Airbus A320s will seat 180 passengers in an all-economy layout, and be powered by CFM International CFM56-5s.

Airbus A320 family aircraft offer the most spacious cabin in the single-aisle aircraft category. Wider seats and a wider aisle create a more comfortable seating arrangement for passengers, while state-of-the-art systems help to provide a pleasant atmosphere, reflecting the commitment to passenger comfort found in all Airbus aircraft. The modern design and operating economics of Airbus single-aisle aircraft makes them a firm favourite with airlines and financiers.

Thanks to its commonality philosophy, all Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft share virtually identical cockpits and handling characteristics, thus allowing pilots and maintenance crews to transfer among Airbus aircraft with only minor additional training.

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners in the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to 550 seats. The company has delivered some 3,250 aircraft to more than 190 operators worldwide and boasts a healthy backlog of over 1,500 aircraft.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.

Transgulf Express can be contacted at