Air Arabia
Air Arabia will be hoping to recover lost ground in the second-half as more flights resume. Plus, there is its direct participation in the new Abu Dhabi based budget airline. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Air Arabia slipped into a Dh169 million loss for the first-half of 2020, brought on the drastic measures taken by governments worldwide to contain the pandemic. In particular, it was the second quarter that was heavily impacted.

The carrier's turnover for the period registered Dh1.02 billion, a drop of 53 per cent from the Dh2.17 billion last year. It carried a total of 2.48 million passengers from all its four hubs in the first half, a drop of 57 per cent compared to first half of 2019.

In a statement, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman, said: “Air Arabia started the year with strong performance... promising another year of growth and profitability.

"However, the unprecedent impact of COVID-19 left airlines battling the strongest challenge in its history. The full impact on airline operations was fully materialised in the second quarter as a result of border closures and flights suspension across all key markets.

"This fact has led airlines to focus on controlling cost while supporting global relief efforts with repatriation and aid flights”.

Second quarter woes

The drop-off in second quarter numbers makes the reality all the more stark. Revenues for the April to June period was Dh120 million, and leading to a yawning net loss of Dh239 million.

“The prospects of the global aviation industry remain strong and will continue to play a vital role in the global economic recovery," said Sheikh Abdullah. 

"While we started to see gradual opening of selective markets around the world, it is now clear that COVID-19 will continue to have a lasting impact on the aviation industry and the path to recovery is expected to be gradual. While we remain in a strong position weathering the COVID-19 impact, we continue to look at this challenge with a long-term view keeping business continuity as the prime focus.”