Air Arabia
Air Arabia carried 2.4m passengers in first three months, but coming weeks will severely test airlines as air travel makes a gradual return. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Sharjah-based Air Arabia saw first-quarter profit fall 45 per cent, blaming the coronavirus pandemic that has crushed travel demand. The airline made Dh71 million in the three months to March 31, compared to Dh128 million dirhams a year earlier.

Revenue fell 12 per cent to Dh901 million and quarterly passenger traffic declined 14 per cent to 2.4 million. The airline recorded a strong start to the year but the coronavirus outbreak impacted overall performance in the first three months of the year, Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed al-Thani said.

Air Arabia also operates hubs in Ras Al Khaimah and in Egypt and Morocco. It laid off dozens of employees in the first quarter, blaming the impact of the virus, and warned the pending launch of its joint venture airline with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi was dependent on market conditions.