Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia has reported a strong first quarter (January to March) with a net profit of AED291 million ($79.2 million), an increase of 756 per cent compared to AED34 million registered in the corresponding period last year, as recovery in demand for the air travel continued.

Announcing the financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2022, Air Arabia said for the same period, the airline recorded a 97% increase in turnover which soared to AED1.12 billion.

The financial and operational results achieved in the first quarter were backed by the continuous recovery in demand for air travel. More than 2.4 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March 2022 across the carrier’s five hubs, an 86 percent increase compared to a total of 1.3 million 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 2022 stood at an impressive 79 percent, up 4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Commenting on the results, Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani said: "The strong performance we witnessed last year continued in the first quarter of 2022 and was supported by higher customer demand for Air Arabia’s value driven product as well as rigid cost control measures that the airline took since the start of the pandemic."

"We have continued with our network expansion strategy in the first quarter of this year by adding new routes and new frequencies across all operating hubs as well as continuing with preparations for the launch of our new ventures in Armenia and Pakistan," he added.

Air Arabia sadi it added four new routes from its operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt the first three months of 2022 and fully resumed its city check-in across the UAE.

Air Arabia Group also unveiled the brand identity of its latest two ventures ‘Fly Arna’ and ‘Fly Jinnah’ in Armenia and Pakistan respectively. Both joint ventures are expected to be operational by mid-year.

Al Thani concluded: “In addition to the lasting impact of COVID-19 on global aviation, the industry continues to face geo-political challenges, higher oil prices and uncertainty towards full economic recovery. Although all these challenges are of a changing nature, we have full confidence in the business model that we operate, the strength of the aviation industry worldwide, as well as its role in supporting regional and global economic recovery”.

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