Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Air Arabia posts 75 per cent rise in second-quarter profit

Net income at the Sharjah-based low-cost carrier rose to Dh210 million in the three months to June 30

Air Arabia posted a 75% rise in second-quarter profit as it carried more passengers and yields improved. Courtesy Air Arabia
Air Arabia posted a 75% rise in second-quarter profit as it carried more passengers and yields improved. Courtesy Air Arabia

Air Arabia, the UAE's only listed carrier, posted a 75 per cent rise in second-quarter profit as the Sharjah-based operator carried more passengers and improved its yield margins.

Net income in the three months ending June 30 reached Dh210 million, compared to Dh120m in the prior year period, despite escalating geopolitical tensions and global economic challenges, Air Arabia said in a statement on Wednesday. Second-quarter revenue increased by 22 per cent to Dh1.14 billion year-on-year.

"The strong Air Arabia performance witnessed in the first quarter of this year continued in the second quarter driven by our cost control measures, improved yield margins and strong passenger demand," Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said.

The airline is in talks with Airbus and Boeing for an order of at least 100 planes that it expects to place this year as it seeks to replace and expand its fleet of 54 Airbus A320-family aircraft, its chief executive Adel Ali said in April.

The low-cost carrier carried more than 3 million passengers from its hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, up 16 per cent from 2.59 million passengers in the same quarter last year.

Average load factors - a measure of the number of seats filled - stood at 84 per cent.

The results come as global airlines face escalating trade tensions and higher fuel costs that have squeezed margins.

“The global and regional aviation industry continued to be impacted by pressing economic challenges and escalating geopolitical tensions during the first half of this year. And, despite that, Air Arabia managed to register record performance supported by strong passenger demand, momentum growth and operational efficiency” Mr Al Thani said.

Air Arabia took delivery in April of its first longer-range Airbus A321 Neo LR airplane, bringing its total fleet size to 54 aircraft.

The new Airbus A321, which has a capacity of 215 passengers, is the first of five aircraft to be delivered in 2019 that will help the carrier expand to new medium-haul markets and add more capacity to existing routes.

The carrier added 10 new routes to its network in the first half of this year. Air Arabia said four new destinations from its main hub in Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur, Tunis, Vienna and Bishkek with flights will start in the third quarter of this year.

The airline currently serves more than 170 destinations in 50 countries from its hubs in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Morocco and Egypt.

Updated: August 7, 2019 05:52 PM

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