Air Arabia posts AED34 million net profit for Q1 2021
SHARJAH: Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East & North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, reported earning AED34 million for the first quarter of 2021 despite the pandemic’s continued adverse impact on the global aviation industry’s financial and operational performance.
Air Arabia said its total net profit from January to March 2021 reached AED34 million, 52 percent less than the corresponding 2020 figure of AED71 million. In the same period, the airline posted a turnover of AED572 million, 37 percent less the first quarter of last year.
More than 1.3 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March 2021 across the carrier’s five hubs while the airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – during the first three months of 2021 maintained a high average and stood at 77 percent.
Air Arabia managed to register a profitable first quarter despite COVID-19 pandemic continuous impact on the industry’s bottom-line. According to IATA, international passenger traffic fell more than 80% in first quarter 2021 compared to pre-pandemic as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over coronavirus spread.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said: “We are proud that Air Arabia managed to post another profitable quarter despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry worldwide. This is a testament to the carrier’s robust business and its management team. Although the tightened restrictions on air travel continued in first quarter of this year, the gradual resumption to selected destinations combined with cost control measures adopted by the carrier helped to deliver profitability during the first quarter of this year.”
He added: “The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global aviation industry remains material and of a changing nature, nonetheless, we have full confidence in the fundamentals and the strength of the aviation industry worldwide as well as the crucial role air travel will play in supporting regional and global economic recovery.”
While flight resumption during the pandemic remains subject to restrictions and changing travel regulations, Air Arabia managed during the first quarter of this year to resume operations to a selected number of destinations across its five hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt. The limited resumption of flights across various markets helped support the first quarter financial and operational performance.
“While we remain hopeful that air travel restrictions will ease with the increasing rate of vaccination drives across key markets, Air Arabia remains focused on adopting further measures to control costs and support business continuity during this period while we continue to resume operations where possible,” Al Thani noted.