Dubai: Low-cost carrier Air Arabia on Sunday reported a 52 per cent fall in first quarter profit, compared to the same period a year earlier.
The Sharjah-based airline’s first-quarter net profit stood at Dh34 million for the three months ending March 31, 2021. The company had posted a profit of Dh71 million in the first quarter of 2020.
More than 1.3 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March 2021 across the carrier’s five hubs while the airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at 77 per cent.
“We are proud that Air Arabia managed to post another profitable quarter despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry worldwide - this is a testament to the carrier’s robust business and its management team,” said Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia.
“Although the tightened restrictions on air travel continued in the first quarter of this year, the gradual resumption to selected destinations combined with cost control measures adopted by the carrier helped to deliver profitability during the first quarter of this year,” he added.
While flight resumption during the pandemic remains subject to restrictions and changing travel regulations, Air Arabia resumes operations to a selected number of destinations across its five hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt.
The limited resumption of flights across various markets helped support the first quarter financial and operational performance, said the airline in a statement.
“While we remain hopeful that air travel restrictions will ease with the increasing rate of vaccination drives across key markets, Air Arabia remains focused on adopting further measures to control costs and support business continuity during this period while we continue to resume operations where possible,” said the carrier’s chairman.
Better than Q4
Like most airlines, Air Arabia had a dismal 2020. The carrier reported a loss of Dh192 million for the full year.
Meanwhile, net profit during the fourth quarter stood at Dh20 million, down 90 per cent from the same period a year earlier.