Sharjah-based low-cost airline Air Arabia has reported an increase in profits in the final quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter in the previous year.

Fourth-quarter profits reached AED94m ($25.5m), an increase of 12 per cent compared with AED84m for the same period in 2012.

The increase in profits marks an improvement on the carrier’s third-quarter profits last year, which fell by 9 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2012.

The airline’s full year profits climbed by 2 per cent compared to 2012, to reach AED435m, while turnover for the year rose by 14 per cent compared with 2012, to reach AED3.2bn.

More than 6.1 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2013, marking a 15 per cent increase compared with 5.3 million passengers carried in 2012.

Air Arabia is the region’s first low-cost carrier, beginning operations in 2009. Since then, it has been expanding its route network and fleet.

Earlier this month, Air Arabia became the official carrier of the emirate Ras al-Khaimah following the collapse of RAK Airways in January.