Air Arabia announced a 169 million UAE dirham ($46 million) loss for the first half of 2020 on Monday as the coronavirus pandemic slashes global demand for air travel.
Governments and health authorities around the world moved to tackle the pandemic in the second quarter of 2020, with widespread lockdowns and travel bans in place with the aim of preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus. These lockdowns have hit the aviation industry hard, with some airlines struggling to stay afloat and many looking for government support amid record drops in demand.
“Air Arabia started the year 2020 with strong performance promising another year of growth and profitability. However, the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 left airlines worldwide battling the strongest challenge in its history,” Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia said in a statement.
The airline reported its turnover for the first half of 2020 at 1.021 billion dirhams, a 53 percent drop compared to the 2.173 billion reported in the first half of 2019. Passenger figures also dropped by 57 percent to 2.48 million.
“The full impact of COVID-19 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,” Al Thani added.