Air Arabia (PJSC), the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, announced its financial results for the 12 months ending December 31, 2010, demonstrating sustained profitability, lasting customer appeal and the strength of its underlying expansion strategy.
Air Arabia, which now operates service to 67 destinations from three regional hubs, announced that its net profit for the full-year 2010 reached AED 309.559 million, a decline of 31.5 per cent from AED 452 million reported in the previous year. Air Arabia’s total turnover for 2010 reached AED 2.08 billion, an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to AED 2 billion reported in 2009.
These results were announced following a meeting today of the Board of Directors of Air Arabia, who have proposed a dividend distribution of eight per cent of capital which is equivalent to 8 fils per share. This proposal is subject to ratification by the shareholders of Air Arabia at the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.
Further underscoring the significant appeal of its low-cost services, Air Arabia served 4.45 million passengers in the 12 months ending December 31, 2010; an increase of 10 per cent compared 4.06 million passengers in 2009. The carrier’s seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – also increased in 2010, reaching 83 percent, an increase of 3 per cent compared to 80 per cent reported for the full-year 2009.
The year 2010 continued to witness pressure on yields and higher fuel prices, trends that have impacted the profitability of the sector worldwide. Never the less, Air Arabia 2010 results continued to demonstrate solid profitability, higher revenues and increased passenger numbers and seat load factor.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, described the carrier’s positive financial results for 2010 as “extremely encouraging,” adding that he saw significant growth opportunities in 2011 based on Air Arabia’s ongoing expansion strategy.
“Our ability to continue to report sustained profitability, as well as increasing revenues and passenger traffic, is testament to the strength of our management and underlying business model,” he said. “By providing our customers with a growing range of destinations and value-for-money fares, Air Arabia has demonstrated its ability to thrive in even the most challenging conditions.”
2010 was a year of ongoing expansion for the low-cost carrier, which launched its Alexandria based Air Arabia ‘Egypt,’ in June. Last year, Air Arabia also introduced service to a range of new destinations, including Kabul, Afghanistan; and Sohag, Egypt from Sharjah.
Most recently, the carrier announced the expected delivery of a total of six aircraft this year after receiving its first of the 44 aircraft in October last year. By 2016, following the delivery of 44 A320 aircraft, Air Arabia’s total operating fleet will exceed 50 aircraft, more than doubling the size of its current fleet.
Over the past 12 months, Air Arabia continued to be recognised for the excellence of its operations, including being named “Low-Cost Airline of the Year” at the prestigious Aviation Business Awards. The carrier was also recognised as the “Best Low-Cost Airline” at the Business Traveller Awards Middle East, the “Middle East’s Leading Low-Cost Airline” for the third consecutive year at the World Travel Awards, and as the “Best Managed Company in the Middle East – Airlines and Aviation” by Euromoney.