Air Arabia’s latest results suggest the airline is finding ways to make low-cost travel work for it better than ever before.
Statements released yesterday show the full year 2017 net profit of $180 million (AED 662m) up 30 percent from last year. The year’s figures are the first time since 2014 that the airline has managed to reverse a downward trend in profitability.
Results were boosted by a massive fourth quarter: the airline’s profit figures surged 177 percent to $7m (AED26m), as it flew nearly a quarter of the 8.5 million customers it ferried across the skies over the year during the last three months of the year.
The airline’s turnover in 2017 remained in line with the previous year, at $1 billion (AED 3.74bn). The numbers are roughly the same as it has been posting since 2015, suggesting it is in economies of scale, routes and ticket prices, and differentiated offerings that the airline is tweaking to deliver its profitability.
Air Arabia added 21 routes to its global network last year, adding four new aircraft to its fleet of 50 Airbus A320 aircraft. More than 8.5 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2017 at an average seat load factor of 79 percent.
Air Arabia has “the right business model, operating base and infrastructure in place to continue delivering … the highest returns to our shareholders,” said Air Arabia chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani in a statement.
“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 has seen in the last quarter. 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.