Air Arabia Q1 net profit up 81 percent

May 12th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by admin  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, May 12 (IANS) The Middle East and North Africa’s largest low-cost airline Air Arabia Monday announced net profit of 78 million dirhams ($21.2 million) in the first quarter of 2008, an 81 percent rise from the corresponding period last year. During the first quarter of 2008, the company posted a turnover of 383 million dirhams ($104.2 million), up 59 percent compared to 241 million dirhams ($65.6 million) during the first quarter of 2007, according to a statement issued by the Sharjah-based airline here.

“The high price of oil as well as increasing inflation rates put additional challenge on the air transport sector across the globe, but the rapid and strong economic growth of this region contributes to a sustained and subsequent market and travel growth,” Air Arabia chief executive and board member Adel Ali said.

The carrier served 757,000 passengers in the first quarter of 2008, an increase of 31 percent compared to 577,000 passengers during the corresponding period of 2007.

The average seat factor - passengers carried as a proportion of available seats - stood at 85 percent for the first quarter of 2008, up two percent compared to 83 percent in the first quarter of 2007.

During the first quarter of 2008, the airline purchased two new Airbus A320 aircraft, which increased the company’s fleet size to 13.

It also added two new destinations in India, Kozhikode and New Delhi, taking its number of destinations in that country to 11.

The carrier now flies to 39 destinations throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Air Arabia also opened its new hub in Kathmandu during the period. The hub is also the home of Air Arabia’s newest joint venture, FlyYeti.com, a joint venture with Yeti Airlines of Nepal.

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