Air Arabia profit up 20%

Q1 net profit rises to Dh59m, passenger traffic increases 18%

Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, today reported net profit of Dh59 million for the three months ending March 31, 2013 compared to Dh49 million in the corresponding quarter in 2012, registering an increase of 20 per cent.

The airline attributes the impressive growth to its appealing product offering and strong operational performance.

In the first quarter of this year, Air Arabia posted a turnover of Dh722 million, an increase of 22 per cent compared to Dh594 million in the same period of 2012.

Between January 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013, Air Arabia launched non-stop services from its primary hub in Sharjah to four new destinations. In addition, the low-cost pioneer increased frequency of flights from Sharjah to Beirut in Lebanon, Salalah in Oman, and Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Last month, Air Arabia reported that it carried a record 1.4 million passengers in first quarter of this year, the highest number of passengers that the airline handled in a quarter since inception in 2003. The passenger number represents 18 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. The average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at an impressive 82 per cent.

“We are delighted to showcase yet another quarter of strong financial and operational performance,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia.

“Today’s announcement further demonstrates that Air Arabia continues to set benchmark for the LCC model as well as for the wider aviation sector in the region. For almost a decade we worked tirelessly to offer what our customers want– a wide range of destinations at affordable prices.”

The first quarter of this year saw Air Arabia taking delivery of two aircraft from Airbus. The airline will receive four more A320 aircraft this year, which is in line with Air Arabia’s growth plan to further expand its geographic network and significantly grow the size of its fleet by 2016.

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