Air Arabia announces $118-mn net profit in 2013

Abu Dhabi, Feb 18 (IANS/WAM) The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based low cost carrier Air Arabia has announced a net profit of 435 million dirhams (around $118.4 million) for 2013, an increase of two percent compared to the same period in 2012.

Turnover for the full year ending Dec 31, 2013, stood at 3.2 billion dirhams, up 14 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

“Air Arabia has enjoyed consistent and sustained growth since launching operations back in October 2003, and our performance in the year of our tenth anniversary was no exception,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said in a statement Monday

“The network expansion strategy which has guided the airline for a decade continued to reap rewards in 2013, helping us to once again deliver a strong set of results,” he added.

More than 6.1 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2013, a 15 percent increase compared to 5.3 million passengers carried in 2012. The airline’s seat load factor — or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats — for the full year ending Dec 31, stood at 80 percent.

The airline’s net profit for the fourth quarter ending Dec 31, 2013, stood at 94 million dirhams, up 12 percent compared to 84 million dirhams reported in 2012.

The airline’s turnover for the last quarter of 2013 was 811 million dirhams, an increase of 8 percent compared to 753 million dirhams reported for the same period in 2012.

The airline carried over 1.5 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2103, an increase of 15 percent.

The results were announced following a meeting of the Board of Directors of Air Arabia yesterday, who proposed a dividend distribution of 7.25 percent of capital, which is equivalent to 7.25 fils per share. This proposal is subject to ratification by Air Arabia shareholders at the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.

Air Arabia added eight destinations to its network in 2013, including Yerevan in Armenia; Lar and Mashhad in Iran; Baghdad in Iraq; Sialkot in Pakistan; Abha, Ha’il and Hofufin Saudi Arabia.The airline took delivery of seven new A320 aircraft from Airbus in 2013, bringing its total fleet size to 35.