Sharjah’s budget carrier Air Arabia announced strong results for the January-December 2012 calendar year, proving that low-cost airlines are still dominating despite slow recovery in the global fiscal recession.
Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED 425 million, a 55% increase from the AED 274 million it reported for the 2011 year. Turnover rose an impressive 21% from AED 2.4 billion in 2011 to AED 2.9 billion, and the number of passengers rose 13% from 4.7 million to 5.3 million.
For more on Air Arabia, see:
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The seat-load factor, which represents how full most flights were, was at 82%.
Thanks to high passenger numbers, the fourth quarter also marked gains. Net profit rose 6% from AED 78 million during the fourth quarter of 2011 to AED 83 million, while turnover increased a whopping 18% from AED 638 million to AED 755 million.
The results were announced following a meeting of the Board of Directors, who revealed that shareholders would be receiving a 7% dividend distribution, amounting to 7 fils per share.
Air Arabia chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, reveled in the excellent results and lauded his company’s expansion. He said, “As these results signify, Air Arabia continued to demonstrate its concerted efforts to enter into new markets and launch new ventures, while enabling more people to fly efficiently and affordably. The year 2012 saw Air Arabia expand its global network by entering new markets, taking more aircraft deliveries as well as offering its customers wider product offerings and services.”
He continued, “With market conditions rebounding, the airline is fully confident in its ability to unlock opportunities for the low-cost model, which is pioneered by Air Arabia. As we continue to focus on expansion plans, we remain committed to making air travel accessible to millions of customers in the wider Arab region.”
Air Arabia flies to 82 different destinations with 3 regional hubs, the primary one of which is in Sharjah; the other two are in Egypt and Morocco. It introduced 9 new destinations in 2012, including Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia), Taif (Saudi Arabia), Salalah (Oman), Ufa (Bashkortostan, Russia), Odessa (Ukraine), Erbil (Kurdistan), Astana (Kazakhstan), Basra (Iraq), and Rostov (Russia).