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Air Arabia profit falls 22% amid fuel and currency woes

Air Arabia
More than 4.4 million passengers used Air Arabia's operating hub in the first quarter, up 13% from 2023

UAE carrier Air Arabia reported a 22 percent decline in net profit for the first quarter of 2024 compared with the previous year.

It cited challenges such as fuel price fluctuations, currency volatility and a shift in seasonality as a result of Ramadan.

The low-cost carrier reported earnings of AED266 million ($71 million) for the first three months of 2024, compared with AED342 million ($93 million) a year ago. 

Despite the challenges, the company posted an 8 percent increase in revenue to AED1.5 billion.

More than 4.4 million passengers flew across the carrier’s operating hubs — the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan — up 13 percent from 3.9 million passengers a year earlier. 

The average seat load factor, or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats, reached 85 percent.

Air Arabia’s chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani noted the impact of the ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainty, seasonality, fuel price volatility and supply chain challenges on the business.

But he added that the company was confident in the prospects of the low-cost travel industry and will continue to explore new opportunities.

Air Arabia has a fleet of 74 new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. It added two new routes to its global network during the three-month period.  

The Sharjah-headquartered airline’s liquidity stood at AED5 billion by the end of the first quarter.

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