Air Arabia, the Middle East & North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, reported a profitable first quarter (January to March) 2020 despite Covid-19 impact on the carrier’s first quarter financial and operational performance.
Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED71 million ($19.3 million) for the three months ending March 31, 2020, 45 per cent less than the corresponding 2019 figure. In the same period, the airline posted a turnover of AED901 million ($245.3 million), 12 per cent lesser than the corresponding first quarter of last year.
More than 2.4 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March 2020 across the carrier’s four hubs, 14 per cent lower than the number of passengers carried in the first quarter of last year. The airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – during the first three months of 2020 maintained its high average and stood at 83 per cent.
Air Arabia managed to register a profitable first quarter despite performance being impacted by Covid-19 pandemic that hit the global air travel in mid-February and continues to impact the aviation industry.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said: “Air Arabia witnessed a strong start of the year across the breadth of its operations. However, the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the global aviation, which materialised in airport closures, travel restrictions and low travel demand, has affected the overall performance of the quarter. Nonetheless, we are glad that Air Arabia still managed to deliver profitability and solid performance during the first quarter of this year”.
He added: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have reacted quickly and took all possible measures to protect our passengers and crew while ensuring we continue to fly safely where we can. Additionally, the management team has taken a series of business decisions to control our fixed and running costs during this period while supporting our business continuity. All these measures are set in motion at a time when airlines around the world continue to battle the biggest challenge faced in the history of aviation.”
Sheikh Abdullah concluded: “Air Arabia enjoys a flexible and robust business model and is driven by a clear business strategy. While this pandemic remains impacting the world economy and providing very little visibility towards the future, we have full confidence in the strength of the aviation industry worldwide and its crucial role in supporting economic recovery post Covid-19. In the meantime, we continue to make daily decisions that support our business continuity and remain fully engaged with regulators to ensure we can serve our customers while adhering to the highest international safety standards.”