Air Arabia net profit soars to Dh193 million in first half of 2009

WAM Sharjah, Aug. 8, 2009  Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), announced today its financial results for the period ending June 30, 2009, highlighting the fundamental strength of Air Arabia’s business model in these challenging global economic conditions.

The company’s net profit for the first half of this year stood at Dh193 million, an increase of 21 per cent compared to Dh160 million for the first six months of last year. During the first half of 2009, the company registered a turnover of AED 922 million, up 6 per cent from Dh871 million for the first half of 2008.

Air Arabia’s net profit for the second quarter of this year rose by 10 per cent on a total revenue of Dh458 million, recording Dh90 million compared to Dh82 million for the second quarter of 2008.

The airline served 1,953 million passengers during the first half of 2009; a 20 per cent increase compared 1.6 million passengers during the same period last year. Air Arabia’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – for the first six month of 2009 stood at an extremely impressive 80 per cent.

“Tough economic conditions continue to impact the global aviation sector” said Adel Ali, Board Member and Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia. “We are pleased with the positive results achieved today amidst the ambiguity of global economy performance and the impact of swine flu on air travel trends. Air Arabia’s continuous profitability and growth figures demonstrate the fundamental strength of the airline’s dynamic business model”.

Ali added: “The coming period continues to add pressure on aviation sectors and we therefore remain focused on maintaining highest levels of operational cost efficiency. We are confident that Air Arabia’s strong network, attractive fare-options, value-added services and commitment to passenger convenience will enable it to maintain its leadership position in the regional LCC sector.” ������The second quarter of 2009 saw significant development at Air Arabia. The airline launched Air Arabia (Maroc), a joint venture company, which operates from the carrier’s second hub in Casablanca, Morocco and currently serves 9 European cities. Air Arabia also started operations to Goa, India and Athens Greece, from its main hub at Sharjah International Airport. Air Arabia Holidays, a new value holiday booking service offered by Air Arabia, unveiled a range of exciting low-cost holiday packages from Sharjah to various exotic destinations in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

Air Arabia received further international recognition for its successful business model, as it was ranked first on the Top Performing Companies chart as the best low-cost carrier globally, in a study conducted by Aviation Week magazine. Air Arabia, was also named winner of the A320 Family Operational Excellence Award by Airbus. The Sharjah-based LCC received the award for achieving the highest level of aircraft utilisation in the world in 2008, with 99.8 per cent operational reliability.