By Andy Sambidge
UAE's low cost carrier says almost half a million passengers lifted, up 10% on July 2011
Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, flew a record number of passengers in July.
It said almost half a million passengers escaped the summer heat to fly to one of the airline's destinations last month.
Statistics show that the airline carried a total of 477,839 passengers in the month, up nearly 10 percent year-on-year, the highest number of passengers that the airline handled in a month since inception.
The airline's seat load factor - passengers as a percentage of total seats available - stood at 85 percent, it added in a statement.
The airline said it has witnessed a "steady increase" in passenger traffic since the beginning of this year.
In the second quarter, the low-cost carrier flew 1.3 million passengers, an increase of over 15 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2011.
"It is encouraging to begin the second half of the year with record passenger numbers," said Adel Ali, Group CEO, Air Arabia.
"Nearly half a million people every month now travel more for less with Air Arabia. As we continue to witness significant customer demand, our network expansion strategy coupled with our proven business model will drive Air Arabia's growth in the future."
Air Arabia's second quarter net profit climbed 31 percent to AED66m, while turnover reached AED729m, an increase of 23 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
Air Arabia added two new routes in the first half of 2012, with Taif in Saudi Arabia and Salalah in Oman bringing the airline's global network to 75 destinations.