The Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost airline operator Air Arabia has reported a profitable first half of the year, despite the continued impact of COVID-19 on the aviation’s industry financial and operational performance.
The United Arab Emirates carrier reported a net profit of 44 million Dirhams for the first six months ending June 30, an increase of 126 percent compared to the corresponding first half of 2020. In the same period, the airline posted a turnover of 1 billion dirham, a 5 percent increase compared to the first half of last year, the company announced.
More than 2.3 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and June 2021 across the airline’s five hubs while passengers carried as a percentage of available seats during this time stood on average at 73 percent.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said: “Air Arabia’s ability to post a profitable first half 2021, despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry worldwide, is a direct result of the cost control measures adopted by the management team and supported by the gradual resumption of operations witnessed in the first half”.
He added: “While flights resumption compared to pre-pandemic are still subject to many restrictions, the second quarter of 2021 witnessed gradual improvement in comparison to same quarter last year, which was heavily impacted by the subsequent cancellation of scheduled flight operations. We remain optimistic that the gradual ease on travel restrictions and resumption of operations will continue to help the industry in its path to recovery.”
During the first half of the year, Air Arabia managed to also expand its route network by launching new flights from its hubs in the UAE and Egypt. The carrier also partnered with Etihad Guest, the loyalty program of Etihad Airways to allow members of both schemes to benefit from reciprocal points and miles transfers. In July this year, Air Arabia Group signed an agreement with The Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to launch Armenia’s new national airline.