By Staff writer
Budget carrier says it flew more than 2.1 million passengers in first three months of 2017
Air Arabia, the UAE-based budget carrier, has reported a 10 percent drop in first quarter net profit.
Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED103 million for the three months ending March 31, down from AED114 million in the year-earlier period.
In the same period, the airline posted a turnover of AED810 million, down by 14 percent as yield margins continued to fall during the first quarter of this year.
More than 2.1 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March, while the airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at 81 percent.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said: “We are glad to see Air Arabia recording strong first quarter financial results despite the impact of lower yield margins that the industry continued to witness in the first quarter of this year. The strong measures that we took in driving cost margins lower while optimising revenue opportunities have proven once again the resilient and dynamic business model that we operate.”
He added: “We continue to witness strong passenger demand for Air Arabia’s innovative and value added services and we remain confident of the growth prospects of the low cost travel segment in the region. We believe the market’s economic and trading conditions are on an improving trajectory, and we are optimistic that this will reflect positively on the industry’s performance for the rest of the year."
Air Arabia added one new route from its main hub in Sharjah in the first three months of 2017, with flights commencing to Baku in Azerbaijan.
The carrier also took delivery of one new aircraft and currently operates a fleet of 47 Airbus A320 aircraft operating to 126 routes across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.