Budget airline Air Arabia, the UAE's only publicly listed airline, recorded an almost threefold jump in its second-quarter profit as it carried a higher number of passengers amid continued strong demand for air travel.
Profit for the three months to the end of June, rose to a record Dh459 million ($124.96 million), up from Dh160 million in the same period last year, Air Arabia said in a statement on Friday.
Second-quarter revenue surged 25 per cent year on year to Dh1.39 billion, as the number of passengers carried increased by 37 per cent to 3.8 million from its seven airports in the three-month period.
Both profit and revenue beat Dh284.7 million and Dh1.35 billion consensus estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg, respectively
The airline’s average seat load factor – a measure of how well an airline fills available seats – during the second quarter of 2023 reached 76 per cent.
“Air Arabia’s strong performance in the second quarter of this year is a testament to the resilience and effectiveness of the business model we operate,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.
"Our steady performance in the first quarter continued to the second quarter, underlining the consistency of our growth strategy and operational excellence. Our team’s dedication continues to drive sustained momentum across our businesses.”
Demand this summer has risen sharply as passengers travel abroad for holidays after a pandemic-induced travel lull. This bounce-back was evident in aviation earnings this quarter when many airlines in the Middle East and globally reported higher profits and healthier balance sheets.
Air Arabia's net profit for the first six months of 2023 jumped 78 per cent on an annual basis to Dh801 million, as half-yearly turnover increased 26 per cent year on year to Dh2.82 billion.
The airline carried 7.7 million passengers during the reporting period, as its average seat load factor reached 81 per cent.
Air Arabia operates from seven airports: Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Egypt, Armenia and Pakistan.
During the first half of the year, Air Arabia added three new aircraft to its fleet bringing it to 71 owned and leased Airbus A320 and A321 jets. The carrier has expanded its network by adding 18 routes in the January-June period, it said.
The airline said despite a changing macroeconomic and geo-political environment, it remains focused on driving profitability and maintaining efficiency, supported by "prudent financial and cost-control measures".
Looking ahead, the airline is "confident in our ability to drive growth while providing our passengers with the best value-driven travel deals", its chairman said.