Air Arabia posts record $272m net profit in 2019

Air Arabia, the region’s first and largest low-cost carrier, has announced a record year of profitability and continued growth in 2019 with a net profit of Dh1 billion ($272.2 million) for the full year ending December 31.

The Sharjah-based airline said this was an increase of 80 per cent compared to the net profit registered in 2018 (excluding the impairment accounting treatment that Air Arabia took in 2018).

The airline’s turnover for the full year hit Dh4.75 billion, thus registering an increase of 15 per cent compared to the 2018 turnover.

Announcing the results following a board of directors meeting today (February 9), Air Arabia said the strong full year financial results were backed by solid growth in passenger demand in 2019.

The budget carrier served more than 12 million passengers from its four hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, thus registering a 10 per cent increase compared to the 11 million passengers carried last year.

The average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – for the full year increased 2 per cent at an impressive 83 per cent, it stated.

Commenting on the results, chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani said it was indeed a challenging year for the aviation industry worldwide.

"The global economy endured a slowdown in key international markets while escalating geo-political pressures continued to impact the trading environment. Despite all that, we are proud that Air Arabia managed to deliver a track record year in its young history and to cross, for the first time, the Dh1 billion mark in profitability," stated Sheikh Abdullah.

"Our focus on expanding into new markets combined with improved operational efficiencies has led to another year of sustained growth and profitability for the airline. The strong performance in 2019 is a testament to the strength of the business model we operate and the carrier’s management team," he added.