Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia has announced a net profit of AED100m ($27.2m) for the third quarter of the year.

Although in line with expectations, it was a 26 per cent decline compared with same period in 2010. In the third quarter, Air Arabia also posted a turnover of AED691m, a 22 per cent rise on the third quarter last year.

The airline handled 1,199,973 passengers in the third quarter, which was a 5 per cent rise on figures in 2010.

In the second quarter of the year, the airline recorded a net profit of AED51m (MEED 3:8:11).

“Air Arabia is pleased to announce such solid financial performance, despite continued challenging market conditions,” says Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.

“The challenging market conditions we have seen in the second quarter of this year continued in the third quarter, with a further escalation in the political turmoil in several countries and an upward trend in the average fuel bill. Despite these challenging market conditions, Air Arabia’s solid profits and steady growth reflect the airline’s commercial and operational strength.”

In the third quarter of the year, the airline also crossed the 20 million passenger mark. Air Arabia also took delivery of two Airbus A320 aircraft.