Air-Arabia-headAir Arabia PJSC today reported strong financial results for the first quarter of 2016 exceeding analyst expectations as the Middle East’s first and largest low cost carrier.

Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED114 million for the three months ending March 31, 2016, a 34 percent higher than the corresponding 2015 figure of AED85 million. In the same period, the airline posted a turnover of AED946 million, an increase of 7 percent on AED886 million in the first quarter of last year.

The airline flew more than 2.1 million passengers between January and March 2016, up 17 percent on the corresponding period of last year. The airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – during the first three months of 2016 stood at an impressive 81 per cent.

Air Arabia added two new routes from its main hub in Sharjah in the first three months of 2016, both of which strengthened its presence at the intersection of Europe and Asia. In March, it began direct flights between Sharjah and Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing this popular and historic city within easy reach of UAE visitors. This was followed by news that Air Arabia will operate seasonal direct flights from Sharjah to Batumi, Georgia, between July and September to cater to summer tourist demand. In addition, Air Arabia added three new routes in the first quarter of this year from its operating hubs in Morocco and Jordan.