(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Leading low-cost carrier Air Arabia on Sunday posted a 27 per cent jump in third quarter profits, exceeding forecasts by analysts.
The Sharjah-based carrier said on the back of solid and sustained operational and financial performance, its net profit of rose to Dh376 million, from Dh297 million reported for the same 2016 quarter. The company's turnover for the period increased by four per cent to Dh1.16 billion from Dh1.12 billion in the corresponding period last year.
In a statement, the carrier said it served over 2.33 million passengers in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of three per cent compared to the same period of last year while the average seat load factor - or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats - for the same quarter stood at an impressive 81 per cent.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said the solid third quarter results reflected the continuous appeal for our value-driven product combined with the cost control measures and robust growth strategy adopted by the airline management team.
"We are glad to see Air Arabia delivering strong financial and operational performance throughout 2017 despite the continuous pressure on yield margins that airlines in the region are witnessing," he said. "Air Arabia continued its robust growth in the first nine months of this year and while we maintain our expansion and reach across all markets, we remain focused on providing customers with the world's best value-driven air travel while focusing on operational efficiency and cost control."
Air Arabia's net profit for the first nine months of 2017 stood at an impressive Dh637 million, up 18 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2016, while the turnover for the first nine months of this year reached Dh2.88 billion. Air Arabia served over 6.5 million passengers in the first nine months of 2017 while the average seat load factor for the same period stood at 80 per cent. Air Arabia received three new Airbus A320 aircraft in the first nine months of 2017 ending September 30 and added 14 new routes from its five operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. The carrier currently serves a global destination network of 133 routes across the world.
Air Arabia's better-than-expected results came in as Middle Eastern carriers saw their slowest rate of international growth in September in over eight years. Demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers, rose 3.7 per cent in September, the slowest rise since February 2009, the International Air Transport Association said in its regular monthly traffic update.
Issac John Associate Business Editor of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.
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