Air Arabia posts 16% rise in Q1 net profit

May 6, 2019

Budget carrier Air Arabia reported on Sunday a 16 per cent rise in net profit to Dh128 million in the first quarter compared to the corresponding 2018 figure of Dh110 million.

The Sharjah-based carrier said in a statement that its turnover jumped 17 per cent to Dh1.029 billion compared to 2018 first quarter.

'More than 2.8 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March 2019 across the carrier's four hubs, an eight per cent increase compared to a total of 2.6 million passengers carried in the first quarter of last year,' the statement said.

The airline's average seat load factor - or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats - during the quarter stood at 84 per cent, up three per cent compared to the same period last year.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said the strong first quarter financial and operational performance reflects the strength of the business model the low-cost carrier operates and the continuing customer demand for its value-added services.

'We have continued with our network expansion strategy in the first quarter of this year adding new routes and new frequencies across all operating hubs while driving cost margins lower,' he said.

Sheikh Abdullah said Air Arabia is driven by a clear strategy for growth, providing customers with more places to explore for less.

'Oil price, geopolitical and economic developments continue to impact the trading conditions in the region, including the aviation sector. Nonetheless, we are confident of the long-term fundamentals of the aviation sector in the region, and the increased demand for affordable air travel that Air Arabia now serves across a wide geographic network in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.'

The carrier added five new routes from its hubs in the first three months of 2019 with flights commencing from Casablanca to Lisbon and Tunis; and from Sharm Al Sheikh to Amman and Luxor; and from Sohag to Riyadh. It received its first Airbus A321 neo LR in April and announced the launch of direct flights from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur starting July 1st, 2019. Air Arabia now serves over 155 international and domestic routes from its hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt.