Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, announced its financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2010, demonstrating continued profitability during a period characterised by lower yields among airlines worldwide.

air-arabiaAir Arabia’s net profit for the three months ending March 31, 2010, stood at AED 50 million, a decline of 51 per cent compared to AED 103 million in the corresponding period in 2009. This decline in profitability was in line with global trends of the aviation industry performance represented by the increase in fuel cost as well as continuous pressure on yield margins.

In the first quarter of this year, Air Arabia posted a turnover of AED 482 million, an increase of 4 per cent compared to AED 463 million in the same period of 2009.

The airline served 1.03 million passengers in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 9.2 per cent compared to 951,000 passengers in the same period last year. In the three months ending March 31, 2010, Air Arabia’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at an impressive 80 per cent, sustaining the carrier’s performance from the previous period.

“We are glad with the positive results Air Arabia posted in the first quarter of this year,” said Adel Ali, Board Member and Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia. “The lingering impact of the global financial crisis and the rise in fuel cost continues to affect the profitability of airlines worldwide as a result of continuous dilution in yields versus market over capacity. Nevertheless, Air Arabia posted appealing profits for this quarter and maintained its positive growth in passenger numbers.”

“As we continue to chart our growth path, including the upcoming launch of service from our third hub in Egypt, Air Arabia remains committed to excellence across its operations, and providing its customer best value for money.”

Air Arabia currently provides service to 60 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia from its hubs in UAE and Morocco. The low-cost carrier will shortly introduce service across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region through Air Arabia “Egypt,” the carrier’s Alexandria-based joint venture company formed in cooperation with the Travco Group, the Middle East’s largest travel and hospitality group.