Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI:DFM), the largest low-cost carrier operator in the Middle East and North Africa, has announced a 34 percent increase in its net profit for the three months ending 31 March 2016, compared to the same period last year. The strong first quarter financial results exceeded analyst expectations, despite regional economic uncertainties resulting from lower oil prices.
The airline reported a net profit of AED 114 million (US$ 31m) for the first quarter of 2016, 34 percent higher than the corresponding 2015 figure of AED 85 million (US$ 23m). In the same period, the airline recorded a turnover of AED 946 million (US$ 258m), an increase of 7 percent on AED 886 million (US$ 241m) in the first quarter of last year.
Air Arabia carried more than 2.1 million passengers between January and March 2016, up 17 percent on the same period last year. The airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – during the first three months of 2016 stood at an impressive 81 per cent.
The budget carrier’s home base, Sharjah International Airport, registered a 12 percent increase in overall passenger traffic during the first three months of 2016, with a record 2.7 million passengers being handled by the airport, compared with 2.4 million during the first quarter of 2015. Total passenger numbers passing through Sharjah airport topped 10 million for the first time during 2015.
Air Arabia added two new routes from Sharjah in the first three months of 2016: a direct service between Sharjah and Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and a new route between Sharjah and Batumi, Georgia, between July and September to cater to summer tourist demand. The airline also added three new routes in the first quarter of this year from its operating hubs in Morocco and Jordan.
Source: Air Arabia, SAA