Air Arabia
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Dubai: Sharjah’s Air Arabia reported a profit of Dh467 million in the fourth quarter, compared to Dh20 million a year ago, amid a recovery in air travel demand.

The low-cost carrier said that the turnover for the last quarter of 2021 reached Dh1.3 billion, an increase of 143 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. Air Arabia carried more than 2.5 million passengers from its five hubs in the fourth quarter, double the number of passengers carried in the same period last year. Meanwhile, the average seat load factor increased by 6 per cent, reflecting the increase in demand for air travel witnessed in the last quarter, and stood 81 per cent.

“This is the fifth consecutive profitable quarter that Air Arabia managed to register since the pandemic hit the aviation industry,” said the airline in a statement.

"The year 2021 continued to be challenging for the aviation industry worldwide because of the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it imposed on air travel," said Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia. "Despite that, we are proud that Air Arabia managed to deliver such a performance signalling a steady recovery for the industry."

For the full year, Air Arabia reported a net profit of Dh720 million for the period ending December 31, 2021, an increase of 475 per cent compared to Dh192 million net loss registered for the full year 2020, which was heavily impacted by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on air travel. The airline’s turnover for the 2021 reached Dh3.17 billion, an increase of 71 per cent compared to the Dh1.85 billion registered for the full year 2020.

Air Arabia served more than 6.7 million passengers in 2021 from its five hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, an increase of 54 per cent compared to the 4.3 million passengers carried last year. The average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – for the full year remained strong at 73 per cent.

In 2021 Air Arabia received a brand-new Airbus A321 neo LR airplane bringing its total fleet size to 58 aircraft and added 44 new routes across its five hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt. Air Arabia continued its growth from its operating hubs with Air Arabia Abu Dhabi adding a total of 7 new routes in 2021 from its base in Abu Dhabi International Airport, while Air Arabia Maroc added 16 new routes and Air Arabia Egypt added 15 new routes.

In 2021, Air Arabia Group also announced the signing of an agreement with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to launch Armenia’s national airline “Fly Arna”. Another joint venture was also announced with Lakson Group, one of Pakistan's leading business conglomerates, to launch “Fly Jinnah” a new low-cost airline based in Pakistan.