Air Arabia's profit up two per cent in Q2

AFP, Wednesday 3 Aug 2011

Budget airline sees a rise of five per cent in number of passengers from the same period last year

Low-cost carrier Air Arabia on Wednesday posted a two per cent increase in net profit in the second quarter of 2011 after dropping 12 per cent in the first quarter.

The net profit of the first and largest Arab budget carrier reached 51 million dirhams ($13.9 million) in the three months ending June 30, compared with 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million) in the corresponding period last year, the Sharjah-based airline said in a statement.

Net profit was 44.2 million dirhams ($12.04 million) in the first quarter, compared with 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million) in the same period in 2010.

Air Arabia attributed the modest rise in profits, which it said beat analyst expectations, to a steady growth in revenue and passenger traffic.

"Despite the challenging market conditions, Air Arabia has achieved steady growth and solid profits for the second quarter, thanks to our focused business model and appealing product," said chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Thani.

Air Arabia's revenues in the second quarter stood at 592 million dirhams ($161.3 million), up 22 percent from 485 million dirhams in the same period of 2010, it said.

The no-frills airline carried nearly 1.162 million passengers in the three-month period, up five per cent from the corresponding period last year, with an average seat load factor of 82.5 per cent.

Launched from Sharjah in October 2003, Air Arabia now operates from three hubs in the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Egypt, serving 66 routes with a fleet of 27 Airbus A320s.

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