Air Arabia reports first quarter net profit of AED 103 million, up 32 per cent
Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), announced today its positive financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2009, demonstrating the strength of its business model despite the extremely challenging global economic conditions impacting the aviation sector worldwide.
Air Arabia achieved a net profit of AED 103 million for the first three months of this year, an increase of 32 per cent compared to AED 78 million during the same period of 2008. The carrier posted a turnover of AED 463 million in the first quarter of 2009, up 21 per cent compared to AED 383 million during the corresponding period of last year.
Air Arabia served a total of 951,000 passengers in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of 26 per cent compared to 757,000 passengers during the same period in 2008. Average passenger seat load factor – or passengers carried as a proportion of all available seats – stood at 81 per cent for the first quarter of this year.
“Globally, the aviation industry faced extraordinarily difficult market conditions in the first three months of this year, primarily due to the worldwide financial crisis and its direct impact on the travel habits of both business and leisure passengers,” said Adel Ali, Board Member and Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia. “While Air Arabia is not insulated from the fallout of the global financial crisis, we are extremely pleased to have been able to continue our own positive momentum in the first quarter of 2009, as today’s announcement demonstrates.
“Air Arabia’s appeal to customer’s remains based on a simple promise of value-for-money services, a broad and growing range of destinations, and the very highest levels of passenger comfort and reliability,” he said. “The attractiveness of that proposition remains greater than ever, as travellers everywhere increasingly see the appeal of low-cost services in general and those of Air Arabia in particular.”
Ali concluded: “The global economy is changing fast, and we recognise the challenges that lie ahead for the aviation sector. Through our ongoing organic growth strategy and operational excellence, Air Arabia will remain the market leader across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.”
Recently, the carrier officially launched Air Arabia Maroc, an Air Arabia joint venture company, which operates from the carrier’s second hub in Casablanca, Morocco. Air Arabia also recently introduced service to two new destinations – Goa, India, and Athens, Greece – increasing the carrier’s award-winning network to 46 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, South and Central Asia.
Air Arabia achieved a record annual profit of AED 510 million in 2008 and distributed a 10 per cent cash dividend to the company’s shareholders, allowing them to share in Air Arabia’s success.
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