Air Arabia Q1 net jumps 32pc
Sharjah, May 9, 2009
Air Arabia said its net profit for the first three months of this year soared to Dh103 million ($28.04 million), up 32 per cent when compared to Dh78 million ($21.2 million) during the same period of 2008.
The Sharjah-based budget carrier posted a turnover of Dh463 million in the first quarter of 2009, up 21 per cent compared to Dh383 million during the corresponding period of last year.
Announcing the results for the three months ending March 31, 2009, Adel Ali, board member and Group chief executive officer of Air Arabia, said the airline served a total of 951,000 passengers in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of 26 per cent compared to 757,000 passengers during the same period in 2008.
Average passenger seat load factor – or passengers carried as a proportion of all available seats – stood at 81 per cent for the first quarter of this year.
“Globally, the aviation industry faced extraordinarily difficult market conditions in the first three months of this year, primarily due to the worldwide financial crisis and its direct impact on the travel habits of both business and leisure passengers,” he pointed out.
"While Air Arabia is not insulated from the fallout of the global financial crisis, we are extremely pleased to have been able to continue our own positive momentum in the first quarter of 2009, as today’s announcement demonstrates," Adel Ali commented.
Air Arabia had achieved a record annual profit of Dh510 million in 2008 and distributed a 10 per cent cash dividend to the company’s shareholders, allowing them to share in Air Arabia’s success.
“Air Arabia’s appeal to customer’s remains based on a simple promise of value-for-money services, a broad and growing range of destinations, and the very highest levels of passenger comfort and reliability,” he said.
“The attractiveness of that proposition remains greater than ever, as travellers everywhere increasingly see the appeal of low-cost services in general and those of Air Arabia in particular,” he noted.
“The global economy is changing fast, and we recognise the challenges that lie ahead for the aviation sector. Through our ongoing organic growth strategy and operational excellence, Air Arabia will remain the market leader across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond,” Adel Ali added.
Recently, the carrier officially launched Air Arabia Maroc, an Air Arabia joint venture company, which operates from the carrier’s second hub in Casablanca, Morocco.
Air Arabia also recently introduced service to two new destinations – Goa, India, and Athens, Greece – increasing the carrier’s award-winning network to 46 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, South and Central Asia.-TradeArabia News Service