Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), announced today its financial results for the year 2007.
The company achieved a net profit of AED 376 million for the financial year ending December 31, 2007, as against a net profit of AED 101 million in 2006, an increase of 272 per cent.
The carrier posted a turnover of AED 1.283 billion in 2007, up 71.3 per cent compared to AED 749.16 million in 2006. Passenger average load factor –passengers carried as a proportion of available seats – stood at 86 per cent.
Overall, a total of 2.7 million discerning passengers chose to fly with Air Arabia in 2007. This is an increase of 53.2 per cent compared to 1.76 million passengers in 2006.
For the fourth quarter of 2007, Air Arabia posted a net profit of AED 89.52 million, up 174 per cent compared to AED 32.65 million during the fourth quarter of last year. The carrier posted a turnover of AED 349.3 million, up 62.3 per cent compared to AED 215.2 million in same period of 2006. During the fourth quarter of 2007, the airline served 745,000 passengers, an increase of 49.8 per cent compared to 497,000 passengers during the same period in 2006.
Commenting on the results, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said: “The year 2007 saw Air Arabia achieve unprecedented success in the low-cost carrier segment, a market we introduced to the Middle East just four years ago. From our successful initial public offering, to orders for aircraft acquisition, to the launch of new destinations and new hubs across the region, 2007 was truly a landmark year for the Air Arabia.”
He added: “The year 2008 will see us continue our journey of expansion and market leadership. Our expansion throughout the wider region will enable more consumers than ever to have access to the highest quality of service at the most competitive fares, providing them with the ability to make air travel a larger part of their lives than ever before.”
The year 2007 was an eventful one for the leading LCC in the MENA region. The carrier’s initial public offering opened in March and achieved great success. Air Arabia was able to use the proceeds from the offering in part to fund its record purchase of Airbus A320 aircraft, aiming to triple the size of Air Arabia’s fleet and underlining the company’s stated ambition to increase its total operating fleet to over 50 aircraft by 2015 and become a world-leading airline.
In addition to dramatically increasing the size of its fleet, the carrier also extended its destination network to 37 different cities throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The company recently announced the start of operations from its newest hub in Kathmandu, Nepal, as well as its intention to open a new hub in 2008. Collectively, these announcements signal the carrier’s intention to significantly broaden its coverage area, offering its unmatched value proposition to more people in more countries than ever before.
© 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )