Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI:DFM), the largest low-cost carrier operator in the Middle East and North Africa, has reported a 14 percent increase in passenger numbers, carrying 4.1 million passengers during the first six months of 2016, compared with 3.6 million during the same period of 2015. The airline also announced a 3.5 percent increase in net profit, compared with a 4 percent drop in net profit in H1 2015.
Despite regional economic uncertainties resulting from lower oil prices, the airlines turnover for the first six months of 2016 grew 5.5 percent, reaching AED 1.84 billion (US$ 0.5b), compared to AED 1.75 billion (US$ 0.48b) in the corresponding period last year.
Air Arabia had a strong start to 2016, checking-in more than 2.1 million passengers during the first quarter of the year, up 17 percent on the first quarter of 2015. In the second quarter of 2016, the airline flew over 2 million passengers, increasing 12 per cent on Q2 2015. The airline’s average seat load factor (passengers carried as a percentage of available seats) stood at 81 percent in the first quarter, 78 per cent in the second quarter and 79 percent overall during the first half of the year.
The budget carrier’s home base, Sharjah International Airport, registered a 12 percent increase in overall passenger traffic over the first six months of 2016, with a total of 5.35 million passengers passed through the airport from January to June 2016, compared to 4.79 million in the same period last year. Passenger numbers handled by Sharjah airport exceeded 10 million for the first time during 2015.
Air Arabia added five new international routes since the beginning of 2016, now operating flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe from its five international hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. The airline was named ‘Best Low-cost Airline serving the Middle East’ at this year’s Business Traveller Middle East Awards.
Source: Air Arabia