UAE budget carrier Air Arabia’s quarterly net profit rose 31 per cent on Tuesday, beating analyst forecasts, as the airline boosted flights on little-served routes to India and the Gulf Arab region, lifting passenger numbers.
The airline said it had second quarter net attributable profit of 65 million dirhams ($17.7 million) for the period ended June 30, up from 49.6 million dirhams a year-ago.
Two analysts had forecast profit of 52.5 million dirhams and 51 million dirhams, in a Reuters poll.
Revenues rose to 729.6 million dirhams,from 592.2 million dirhams in the prior-year period.
“In the second quarter of this year, our proven ability to identify and capitalise on under served routes continued to reap enormous benefits,” the airline’s chairman, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Thani (pictured).
The carrier added new routes to Taif in Saudi Arabia and Salalah in Oman in the first half of the year and increased flights to cities in India, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The airline handled 1.3 million passengers in the quarter, up 15 percent over the same period in 2011, it said. The average seat load factor – a measure of capacity utilisation – stood at 85 percent, up three per cent over last year.
Sharjah-based Air Arabia is the only low budget carrier operating out of the United Arab Emirates, home to Dubai government-owned Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
Air Arabia also has hubs in Egypt and Morocco. It competes with other regional low cost carriers such as flydubai and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways.
Air Arabia shares rose 2.17 percent on Tuesday. The stock has risen 10.2 per cent this year.