Dubai-listed budget carrier Air Arabia posted a decline in net profit for the first three months of the year amid ongoing uncertainty, although passenger numbers have registered a double-digit growth.

Total net profit for the period reached AED 266 million ($72.4 million), down 22% from the AED 342 million recorded in the same period last year, the company said in a statement on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Monday.

“The first quarter net profit achieved was driven by robust passenger demand and revenue growth,” said Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia.

“These results were also impacted by the seasonality shift during the month of Ramadan, higher fuel price, currency fluctuations in key markets and ongoing supply chain challenges that contributed to higher inflationary costs across the industry.”

Despite the challenges, the airline managed to post AED 1.54 billion in revenues, up by 8% from the first quarter of 2023.

The airline carried more than 4.4 million passengers between January and March 2024, an increase of 13% compared to a year earlier.

Average seat load factor also grew significantly by 85% during the same period.

Air Arabia maintained that the financial results remained strong despite the challenges and that it remains “steadfast” in its growth plans for the year.

“Despite the ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainty, seasonality impact on our business, fuel price volatility along with currency fluctuation and supply chain challenges, our focus on driving profitability and maintaining an efficient operation has enabled us to deliver solid financial and operational results,” said Al Thani.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha)