SHARJAH: Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia said it has once again delivered high levels of profitability and growth across the breadth of its operations for 2017 clocking a net profit of Dh662 million ($180.2 million), up 30 per cent over Dh509 million registered the previous year.
Announcing the full-year financial results for 2017, Air Arabia said the turnover for the full year 2017 was in line with the preceding 12 months reaching Dh3.74 billion.
More than 8.5 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2017 and the average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – in 2017 stood at an impressive 79 per cent.
Impressed with the full year 2017 performance, Air Arabia’s board of directors has proposed a dividend distribution of 10 per cent of share capital, which is equivalent to 10 fils per share.
This proposal was made following a meeting of the board of directors of Air Arabia and is subject to ratification by Air Arabia’s shareholders at the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.
Air Arabia added 21 new routes to its global network in 2017 from its five operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. The carrier took delivery of 4 new aircraft and ended the year with a fleet of 50 Airbus A320 aircraft operating to 140 routes across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.
On the solid results, Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani said,”Air Arabia has enjoyed consistent and sustained growth in 2017 driven by its network expansion strategy and cost control measures helping us to once again deliver a strong set of results.”
“While political and economic challenges continued to impact the performance of the aviation sector in 2017, we have focused more keenly than ever on ensuring the highest level of operational efficiency and appealing product offering,” he noted.
In the fourth quarter, Air Arabia had reported a net profit of Dh26 million, an increase of 177 per cent compared to a net loss of Dh33 million registered in the last quarter of 2016.
Turnover for the three months ending December 31, 2017 stood at Dh858 million, an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to Dh814 million in the same period in 2016.
“The solid operating metrics and high seat load factor that Air Arabia achieved in the fourth quarter were positively impacted by improvement in yield margins and capacity rationalisation that the market have seen in the last quarter,” remarked Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani.
“We are extremely confident about the long-term fundamentals of the aviation sector in the region which is driven by the underlying demand for air travel, major investments undertaken in aviation infrastructure in the region as well as the region’s hub position on the global map,” he added.