Low-cost carrier Flydubai has reported a loss of AED142.5m ($38.8m) in the first half of 2017, against a revenue of AED2.5bn.

The loss was incurred despite a 9.9 per cent increase in revenue and a 10.5 per cent increase passenger numbers compared to the corresponding period in 2016, which means the airline will need control its cost performance for the rest of the year.

The loss is attributed in part to comparatively higher fuel expenses, which accounted for 24.8 per cent of operating costs between January and June compared to 23.5 per cent for the corresponding period in 2016.

The airline has also added eight aircraft to its fleet since July 2016.

Arbind Kumar, senior vice-president of finance at Flydubai, acknowledged pressure on both yield and cost during the first six months of the year but added that they have faced similar seasonality and trend in previous years.

Kumar said the company will focus its efforts on three key areas namely, improvement in cost performance, a broadening of distribution and optimisation of its network, for the rest of the year.

The Dubai-based carrier’s weak first half performance contrasts with the positive financial performance of Sharjah-based Air Arabia, which reported net profit of AED261m for the first half of 2017, some 7 per cent higher than for the same period in 2016.