RIYADH:

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Air Ara­bia an­nounced that its rev­enues in­creased to Dh3.8 bil­lion for 2015. More than 7.6 mil­lion pas­sen­gers flew with the air­line in 2015, an in­crease of 12 per cent com­pared to 2014. The Shar­jah-based air­line de­clared a net profit of Dh531 mil­lion for 2015, a 6.2 per cent de­cline over pre­vi­ous year's profit of Dh566 mil­lion. The low-cost air­line's board pro­posed a div­i­dend dis­tri­bu­tion of nine per cent of share cap­i­tal, which is equiv­a­lent to 9 fils per share. The share price of the Dubai-listed air­line de­clined to Dh1.25 on Sun­day while 548,086 shares changed hands. The av­er­age seat load fac­tor - or pas­sen­gers car­ried as a per­cent­age of avail­able seats - in 2015 stood at 79 per cent.

"2015 was a year of growth and achieve­ment for Air Ara­bia as our ex­pan­sion strat­egy, ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tions and tight cost con­trols re­in­forced our mar­ket-lead­ing po­si­tion," Air Ara­bia chair­man Shaikh Ab­dul­lah bin Mo­ham­mad Al Thani said in a state­ment. The chair­man added: "The im­pact of low oil prices con­tin­ues to have its ef­fect on the wider global econ­omy, while pres­sure on yields and geopo­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty con­tin­ued to weigh on the avi­a­tion in­dus­try. De­spite th­ese chal­lenges, Air Ara­bia once again de­liv­ered a strong set of num­bers and re­mains well po­si­tioned for fur­ther growth in 2016." The air­line added 23 routes to its net­work in 2015. It be­came the first low­cost air­line from the Middle East and Africa to en­ter the Chi­nese mar­ket with the launch of reg­u­lar non-stop ser­vices to Urumqi, the largest city in Western China. The air­line also added a fifth in­ter­na­tional hub with the for­ma­tion of Air Ara­bia Jor­dan and the open­ing of a fixed-based op­er­a­tion at Am­man Queen Alia In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Air Ara­bia launched Aire­wards, the first loy­alty pro­gramme from a re­gional low­cost air­line, in 2015. It of­fers the same ex­pe­ri­ence that cus­tomers as­so­ciate with Air Ara­bia, with points based on money spent rather than dis­tance flown. In Q4 of 2015, Air Ara­bia re­ported a net profit of Dh59 mil­lion, 13 per cent less than the cor­re­spond­ing 2014 fig­ure of Dh68 mil­lion. Turnover for the three months end­ing De­cem­ber 31, 2015, was Dh957 mil­lion, com­pared to Dh924 mil­lion in the same pe­riod in 2014.

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