Air Arabia profits decrease 15 per cent

15 February 2010

Airline scheduled to open third hub in the first half of 2010 in Alexandria

Sharjah-based budget airline Air Arabia’s net profits fell in the final quarter of 2009 to AED115.7m ($31.5m), a drop of 15 per cent compared to the same period of 2008.

The carrier’s full-year profits declined 11.4 per cent to $123m for 2009, compared to 2008.

Passenger traffic increased to 1.14 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2009, from 1.01 million passengers in the previous three-month period, which the airline attributes partly to the easing of concerns over the global swine flu pandemic.

The airline carried a total of 4.1 million passengers in 2009, an increase of 14.2 per cent from the 3.6 million passengers the previous year. This is despite the carrier recording a 9 per cent drop in profits in the third quarter.

Air Arabia is currently planning to open its third hub in Alexandria, Egypt to join its existing hubs in Sharjah and Casablanca in the first half of 2010, from where it hopes to operate more flights in the North Africa region.

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