AIR Arabia, the region’s pioneer low-cost carrier, announced that passenger traffic between Sharjah and other GCC destinations reached 551,041 in the first half of 2010, an increase of 16.8 per cent, compared to 471, 828 in the same period last year. The carrier recorded an average seat load factor of 81.8 per cent during this period with a total of 83 flights per week from its hub in Sharjah to nine destinations in the GCC.
Air Arabia had previously posted its financial results for the second quarter of the year, showing a turnover of Dh485 million ($132 million), an increase of six per cent on the same period of 2009.
The airline served 1,108,310 passengers in the second quarter of 2010, an increase of 11 per cent compared to 1,002,394 passengers in the same period last year. In the three months ending June 30, 2010, Air Arabia’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at an impressive 82 per cent, an increase of four per cent compared to same period of 2009.
Air Arabia began operations from its third hub in Alexandria, Egypt in June 2010 and announced a fourth hub in Amman and offers services to Khartoum, Kuwait, Beirut, Abu Dhabi and Amman from Alexandria. The airline also announced its increase in frequencies to Kathmandu, in October 2010, and it set a new world record when one of its A320 aircraft flew 30,000 flight hours in six years.
“We are pleased with Air Arabia’s solid performance despite over all challenging market conditions,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia. “Air Arabia continues to post sustained quarterly profits with a high seat load factor and rising passenger traffic. These results demonstrate the strength of Air Arabia’s business model and long-term expansion strategy.”
“The airline has embarked upon a phase of organic growth, now operating from three hubs across the region,” he continued. “We are focused on further expanding our operations while strengthening our value-for-money offerings and innovative products.”
The airline recently confirmed its order for CFM56-5B engines to power its fleet of 44 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The new engine selections will more than double the airlines’ CFM56-5B powered A320 fleet.
Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, recently set a new world record, achieving 30,000 flight hours in just six years with one of its CFM56-5B-powered A320 aircraft.