Air Arabia returns to quarterly profit as revenue tops estimates

Air Arabia returned to profit in the first quarter after impairments for exposure to private equity firm Abraaj resulted in the airline reporting a full-year loss in 2018.

Net income for the quarter climbed to 128 million dirhams ($35 million) from 110 million dirhams a year ago, the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based airline said in a statement, without specifying if the numbers included minority interests. Revenue rose 17 percent to 1.03 billion dirhams, topping analysts’ estimates.

Average seat load factor, or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats, was also up at 84%. The airline added new routes and frequencies in Q1 that helped drive cost margins lower.

Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani said, “Oil price, geopolitical and economic developments continue to impact the trading conditions in the region, including the aviation sector. We are confident of the long-term fundamentals of the aviation sector in the region, and the increased demand for affordable air travel.”

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