Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI:DFM), the largest low-cost carrier operator in the Middle East and North Africa, has announced a 26 percent increase in net profit for the three months ending 30 September 2016, compared to the same period last year. The company attributes the strong third quarter-performance to the success of its expansion strategy. The airline has added five new international routes since the beginning of 2016.
Air Arabia’s net profit for the third quarter of 2016 rose to AED 297 million (US$ 80.9m), compared to AED 235 million (US$ 64m) in the corresponding period of 2015. During the same period, the airline posted a turnover of AED 1.12 billion (US$ 0.33b), in line with the revenue generated during the third quarter of of 2015.
The budget carrier launched a new route from Fez (Morocco) to Toulouse (France) during February 2016, followed by the opening of new routes from Sharjah to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in March. New routes from Marrakesh (Morocco) to Pau (France) and from Amman (Jordan) to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) were introduced in April, followed by the beginning of twice weekly flights from Sharjah to Batumi, Georgia, in July. Air Arabia now operates flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Asia, and Europe from its five international hubs.
Air Arabia served over 2.27 million passengers in the third quarter of 2016, showing a 14 per cent increase on the 2 million passengers carried in the same period of 2015. The airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at an impressive 81 per cent. The carrier served more than 6.3 million passengers during the first nine months of 2016, representing a 14 per cent year-on-year increase, with a load factor of 80 per cent.
Founded in Sharjah, Air Arabia began operations in 2003 and currently operates a total fleet of 43 new Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline was recently named ‘Best Low-cost Airline serving the Middle East’ at this year’s Business Traveller Middle East Awards, ‘Low Cost Airline of the Year’ at the Aviation Business Awards and was ranked third among the top 50 airlines in the world following a report compiled by Airfinance Journal surveying 137 carriers across the globe.
Sharjah International Airport handled 2,996,433 passengers during July, August and September this year, a 13 percent increase over the same period in 2015.
Source: Air Arabia