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Air Arabia Q4 profit triples on expansion

Sharjah, February 13, 2008

Air Arabia,  the Middle East's biggest low-cost airline, said fourth-quarter profit almost tripled after it carried more passengers and added destinations.

The carrier, based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, said net income in the three months to December 31 surged to 89.52 million dirhams ($24.38 million), compared with 32.65 million dirhams in the year-earlier period.

The number of passengers rose almost 50 percent to 745,000, it said, pushing revenue up 62 percent to 349.3 million dirhams.

Average load factor for the year -- the percentage of seats occupied on each flight -- was 86 percent.

"From our successful initial public offering, to orders for aircraft acquisition, to the launch of new destinations and new hubs across the region, the year 2007 was truly a landmark," Air Arabia's chairman, Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Thani, said in a company statement.

In a Reuters survey in December, Deutsche Bank and Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes respectively forecast Air Arabia would make a profit of 86 million and 96 million dirhams.

About 2.7 million people flew Air Arabia last year, compared with 1.76 million the year before, it said.

The carrier, the first in the Middle East to go public, flies to 37 destinations in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and North Africa, using 11 leased Airbus A320 aircraft. - Reuters




Tags: Airline | Sharjah | Air Arabia | low cost |

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