Air Arabia turnover surges

Air Arabia, the Middle East’s first low-cost carrier, announced its 2006 financial results.
Air Arabia posted a turnover of AED 749.16 million in 2006, up 82% compared to AED 411 million in 2005.

The net profit in 2006 stood at AED 101 million, up 222% compared to AED 31.3 million in 2005.

Passenger average load factor - that is, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats - stood at 81.2%.

Commenting on the results, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said:

‘We are pleased to announce Air Arabia’s sterling performance with these financial results for 2006. Apart from the robustness witnessed in revenues and profits, what outshines is the passenger average load factor at 81.2%. This is a manifestation of Air Arabia’s stated mission: ‘Revolutionize air travel in the region through an innovative business approach offering superb value for money and a safe, reliable operation’.’

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He continued: ‘We are proud to say that 2006, like all previous years, was a safe year. Our flights were 80% on time, leading to greater customer satisfaction. As an organization, we will be dedicating more resources to training our staff and further enhancing our operational efficiencies. We are committed to our mission to build motivated multi-functional teams.’

A total of 1.76 million discerning passenger chose to fly with Air Arabia in 2006. This is an increase of 54% compared to 1.14 million passengers in 2005.

The company recently applied to the UAE Ministry of Economy and relevant regulatory authorities for approval to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the first quarter of this year. Air Arabia, which began operations in October 2003, will become the first airline in the Gulf region to go public, subject to approval of its application.

In a recent development, the Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation announced the creation of Sharjah Aviation Services to support the ongoing expansion of Sharjah Airport. Sharjah Aviation Services will deliver a comprehensive range of passenger, ramp and cargo handling services for airline operators and their customers at Sharjah Airport.

Sharjah Aviation Services is a joint venture between the Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation and Air Arabia. Through Sharjah Aviation Services, both airline operators and their customers will continue to turn to Sharjah as an international gateway to the UAE, Gulf and wider region.

About Air Arabia: Air Arabia was established in February 2003 by an Amiri decree issued by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates. The company began operations in October of the same year.

Based in Sharjah and with a fleet of nine Airbus A320 aircraft, Air Arabia serves 32 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Turkey and Yemen.

Air Arabia is modeled after leading American and European low-cost airlines and is customized to local preferences. Its main focus is to make air travel more convenient through Internet booking and offering the lowest fares in the market without sacrificing on service or safety standards.
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