By Ed Attwood
Sharjah-based airline beats off oil price and unrest to post 22% rise in turnover
Low-cost carrier Air Arabia posted a two percent gain in profits in the second quarter to $13.9m, showing resilience against the effects of the Arab Spring and the rising oil price.
The Middle East’s largest listed airline saw turnover increase by 22 percent to $161.2m, the carrier said in a statement to Dubai bourse on Tuesday.
Passenger numbers at the budget airline rose by five percent to 1,108,310 year-on-year, while the seat load factor – the aviation sector’s measure of efficiency taken as passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – was 82.5 percent.
“The second quarter of this year has seen fuel price averaging to 46% increase in the market fuel bill compared to same quarter of correspondent year,” said Air Arabia chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani.
“The political turmoil of the region has continued with further escalation in several countries. Despite the challenging market conditions, Air Arabia has achieved steady growth and solid profits for the second quarter.”
The airline, which competes with regional low cost carriers
such as flydubai and Kuwait's Jazeera Airways , said last month that it has delayed
plans to establish a fourth hub in Jordan due to regional unrest and soaring
Air Arabia's other hubs are in Morocco, Egypt and its
Sharjah base in the UAE.