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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Air Arabia says approves 10% dividend for 2017

Payout follows strong financial performance last year, airline says

Air Arabia shareholders approved a 10 per cent dividend payment for 2017 at the airline's annual general meeting in Sharjah on Tuesday. Maja Hitji / EPA
Air Arabia shareholders approved a 10 per cent dividend payment for 2017 at the airline's annual general meeting in Sharjah on Tuesday. Maja Hitji / EPA

Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia approved the distribution of a 10 per cent cash dividend to shareholders for the financial year ended December 31 2017, as proposed in the company’s financial results published in February.

The dividend, equivalent to 10 fils per share, reflects a solid financial performance in 2017, the airline said in a statement following its annual general meeting in Sharjah on Tuesday.

“Air Arabia has enjoyed consistent and sustained growth in 2017 driven by its network expansion strategy and cost control measures helping us to once again deliver a strong set of results,” said Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.

The airline, the UAE's only publicly listed carrier, reported a 30 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit for the year to Dh662 million, up from Dh509m for 2016.

Turnover for 2017 was in line with the preceding year, reaching Dh3.74bn.

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The airline expanded its network last year, adding 21 new routes from its operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.

The carrier also took delivery of four new aircraft, ending the year with a fleet of 50 Airbus A320 aircraft operating 140 routes across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.

More than 8.5 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2017 and the average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – in 2017 stood at 79 per cent.

During the AGM, the assembly approved the report of the company’s auditors for the financial year ending December 31, 2017, as well as the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts for the same period.

The carrier pledged to continue to develop the airline’s operations in 2018, capitalising on growth in the Middle East and North Africa’s low-cost aviation sector.

“Air Arabia remains committed to the growth of the aviation sector both regionally and globally and is strongly poised to overcome any future challenges,” its chairman Sheikh Abdullah said.

“Consumer trust is key to our growth strategy as we continue to maintain a strong financial performance through the year and beyond.”