Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia made a net profit of AED50m ($13.6m) in the second quarter of 2010, a 44 per cent decline compared to the same period of last year.

In the second quarter of 2009, the airline recorded a net profit of AED90m. The airline attributes the decline to the increase in fuel costs and continuous pressure on yield margins.

Air Arabia made the same net profit of AED50m in the first quarter of the year, which was a 50 per cent fall compared to the previous year.

During the three months ending 30 June, Air Arabia also posted a turnover of AED485m, a six per cent increase compared to the AED458m seen in the same period of 2009.

In terms of passenger traffic, the airline carried more than 1.1 million passengers in the second quarter of the year, an 11 per cent rise on the volume of passengers the previous year.

The carrier has had an eventful year so far with the launch of operations from its third hub in Alexandria, Egypt starting on 1 June. It is also plans to launch Jordan’s first low-cost carrier in a joint venture with Jordanian investment firm Tantash Group (MEED 8:6:10).

Air Arabia currently flies to 65 destinations from its three hubs of Sharjah, Casablanca and Alexandria.