Middle East: Air Arabia Profits Climb
Sharjah–based low–cost carrier Air Arabia has announced a 128 percent jump in net profits for the second quarter of 2014, its best quarterly performance ever. The Middle East’s first budget airline beat analysts’ forecasts when it declared that net profits more than doubled to AED173 million for the quarter ended June this year from AED76 million registered for the same period last year. Reuters analysts had previously forecast a profit of around AED123 million. Turnover for the quarter stood at AED915 million, a 15 percent year-on-year increase over the AED797 million posted in 2013.
In terms of passenger numbers, Air Arabia flew more than 1.6 million passengers in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of eight percent over the 1.5 million passengers it carried in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the airline’s financial results for the first half of 2014 also beat forecasts, with a net profit of AED248 million for the half-year ending June 30, 2014 – a rise of 85 percent over the AED134 million in the corresponding period of 2013. More than 3.3 million passengers flew with the airline in the first half of 2014, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.
“Air Arabia’s outstanding start to 2014 has accelerated in the second quarter as the investments made into our operational capacity and cost management have continued to deliver results,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia.
“We have seen an 11 percent increase in capacity in the first half of this year, yet we have sustained a high average seat factor and seen first-half turnover increase by 15 percent.”