Low-cost airline Air Arabia has reported a manyfold increase in its net profit based on recovering demand for air travel, but the Sharjah-based carrier noted that the industry has continued to face challenges.

Air Arabia’s Q2 net profit stood at AED 160 million ($43.5 million) compared to AED 10 million in the same time last year. It fell well short of the mean estimate of AED 237 million from analysts, according to data provider Refinitiv. 

Turnover more than doubled to AED 1.11 billion, compared to AED 496 million in the corresponding period last year, the Dubai DFM-listed airlines said in a statement on Wednesday.

More than 2.7 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between March and June 2022 across the carrier’s five hubs, nearly 200% higher year-on-year. The airline’s average seat load factor increased by 13% to 79%.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said the strong performance was supported by higher customer demand and cost control measures.

“The global aviation industry continues to face geo-political challenges, the impact of higher oil prices and uncertainty towards full economic recovery. Despite all these challenges, we have full confidence in the business model we operate, and the crucial role that the aviation industry plays in supporting regional and global economic growth," he said.  

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)