Air Arabia
Budget carrier Air Arabia reported on Sunday a 57 per cent jump in its net profit for the third quarter. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Budget carrier Air Arabia reported on Sunday a 57 per cent jump in its net profit for the third quarter of 2019, reaching Dh471 million as passenger demand grew.

The results put profits in the first nine months of this year at Dh809 million, up 53 per cent from the Dh530 million recorded in the same period last year. The growth came as the Sharah-based carrier carried over 3.4 million passengers in the third quarter from its four hubs in the UAE, Egypt, and Morocco.

Passenger traffic was up 10 per cent year-on-year. Air Arabia said its earnings for the quarter were backed by high customer demand, a growth strategy, and cost control measures.

“The current economic and trading conditions are impacting the aviation industry around the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa region where we continue to witness unsettling geopolitical escalations and pressing economic challenges,” said Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.

He added that the airline still plans to “cautiously continue” with its growth plans of expanding its geographic reach while providing affordable travel options to customers.

Revenues for Air Arabia were also higher year-on-year, reaching Dh1.4 billion in the third quarter, up 12 per cent. In the first nine months of this year, revenues rose by 17 per cent to reach Dhh3.6 billion as the carrier served over 9.2 million passengers in this period (an 11 per cent increase).

Operationally, Air Arabia received two new Airbus A321 neo aircraft this year, bringing its total fleet size to 55 aircraft. The new jets are meant to allow the airline to expand to new medium-haul markets and to increase its seat capacity on existing routes. Air Arabia is currently in talks with manufacturers for an order of over 100 aircraft, but no plans have yet been finalised.

In October, the airline announced a deal with Etihad Aviation Group to launch Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the first low-cost carrier based in the UAE capital. Neither Etihad nor Air Arabia have yet discussed details of the new airline’s operations or plans.