Air Arabia H1 profit soars 17pc to $36m
Sharjah, August 5, 2013
Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s largest low-cost carrier (LCC), reported a net profit of Dh134 million ($36.47 million) for the first half of this year, an increase of 17 per cent compared to Dh115 million during the same period last year.
The results highlight the fundamental strength of Air Arabia’s business model and demonstrate sustainable profitability during the first half of this year, said a statement.
The company registered a turnover of Dh1.5 billion, up 19 per cent from Dh1.2 billion for the first half of 2012.
Air Arabia’s net profit for the second quarter of this year exceeded analysts’ forecast to hit Dh76 million, an increase of 15 per cent compared to Dh66 million for the second quarter of 2012. Turnover for the second quarter of 2013 rose by 17 per cent to Dh797 million, compared to Dh681 million for the second quarter of last year.
The airline served over three million passengers during the first half of 2013, a 16 per cent increase compared 2.6 million passengers during the same period last year. Air Arabia’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – for the first six month of 2013 stood at an impressive 82 per cent, said the statement.
“Air Arabia is pleased to announce strong and solid financial performance despite on-going political turmoil in parts of the region, which continues to impact the transport sector and the regional economic growth,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, chairman. “The airline’s commercial and operational strength have allowed it to further invest in its own growth, carry more people and register sustained and strong performance”.
Al Thani said: “We will continue to focus on our business expansion strategy which will enable us to launch new services and enter new geographies in the coming six months, while continuously offering our customers the best value for money deals”.
In the first half of 2013, Air Arabia added five new routes from Sharjah, bringing the total route network to serve 86 destinations from three operating hubs - UAE, Morocco and Egypt. These new destinations include: Sialkot in Pakistan; Baghdad in Iraq; Abha and Ha’il in Saudi Arabia; and Yerevan in Armenia. The first half of 2013 also saw the airline increasing frequency of flights to Beirut in Lebanon, Salalah in Oman, and Dhaka in Bangladesh.
Underpinned by strong demand for Air Arabia’s services, the airline has taken delivery of three aircraft from Airbus this year, including the region’s first Airbus Sharklet equipped A320 aircraft, bringing its total operational fleet to 33 aircraft. The low-cost pioneer expects to receive another four aircraft from Airbus by the end of 2013.
As further testament to its successful business model, Air Arabia has been awarded “Best Low-Cost Airline, Middle East” at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2013 at the recent Paris Air Show. The award recognizes the airline’s commitment to providing the best quality, low cost travel for airline passengers in the region, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service