Sharjah: Air Arabia's full-year profit increased 55 per cent as more passengers used the Middle East's biggest discount airline for travel.Net income climbed to Dh425 million ($116 million) from Dh274 million a year earlier, the Sharjah, UAE-based airline said yesterday, without specifying if the figures included minority interests. "Air Arabia continued to demonstrate its concerted efforts to enter into new markets and launch new ventures," Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani said in the statement.
"The year 2012 saw Air Arabia expand its global network by entering new markets and taking more aircraft deliveries."
Air Arabia, which competes with state-owned FlyDubai, is adding aircraft to its bases in Morocco and Egypt to capture a rebound in demand for travel following last year's so-called Arab Spring, Chief Executive Officer Adel Ali said in March. The airline halted plans to establish a hub in Jordan in 2011 amid concern about uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
The airline had carried more than 5.3 million passengers last year compared with 4.7 million a year earlier, with an 82 per cent seat-load factor, or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats. Fourth-quarter profit rose six per cent to Dh83 million, while sales climbed 18 per cent to Dh755 million.