Air Arabia Posts 11% Hike In Q1 Net Profit

The low cost carrier recorded a net profit of Dhs49.2 million during the first quarter of the year.

Low cost carrier Air Arabia announced that its first quarter net profit reached Dhs49.2 million, up 11 per cent compared to Dhs44.2 million in the same period in 2011.

The airline’s turnover also increased 21 per cent year-on-year to reach Dhs621 million, it said in a statement.

The airline served more than 1.2 million passengers during the period, a year-on-year increase of seven per cent, while its average seat load factor stood at 82 per cent.

“Though political instability and sustained high fuel costs continue to challenge regional carriers, the appeal of air transport, and especially the low-cost model, remains strong,” Air Arabia’s chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, said in the statement.

“Air Arabia will continue to enter into new markets and to launch new ventures in 2012,” he added.

During the first quarter of this year, Air Arabia increased flights to Kuwait and Dammam and took delivery of the ninth of 44 A320 aircraft it has ordered from Airbus.

Air Arabia’s total operating fleet reached 30 aircraft, and it will receive five more A320 aircraft this year, it said.

The airline, which recorded a full-year net profit of Dhs274 million in 2011, down 13 per cent from 2010, announced the distribution of a six per cent cash dividend for the year.