Air Arabia's 2012 net profit surges 55% to $115.8 mn

Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia said Saturday its 2012 net profit soared 55 percent on an annual basis to $115.8 million, as it expanded its network and passenger numbers rose.

Revenues for the Middle East's first and largest low-cost airline stood at 2.9 billion dirhams ($790 million), an increase of 21 percent compared with 2011, it said in a statement.

Passenger numbers grew 13 percent to 5.3 million in 2012, with a seat load factor of 82 percent for the whole year.

In the fourth quarter, net profit came in at $22.6 million, six percent up from the corresponding period in 2011.

"The year 2012 saw Air Arabia expand its global network by entering new markets, taking more aircraft deliveries," chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Thani said in the statement.

Air Arabia, which began operations from the emirate of Sharjah in 2003, now has two other hubs in Egypt and Morocco. It operates a fleet of 33 narrow-body Airbus A320 that serves 83 destinations, nine of which added in 2012.

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