Air Arabia posts Q3 net loss as coronavirus continues to impact operations

Chairman of Sharjah-based low cost carrier says airline remains in ‘strong position’ to weather the impact of the pandemic

Sharjah-based Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, on Wednesday announced a net loss of AED44 million ($12 million) for the third quarter of 2020, a direct result of the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on airline operations.

The company’s turnover for the third quarter totalled AED294 million, and a total of 665,456 passengers were served from all five hubs in the same period.

The third quarter witnessed partial resumption of scheduled flights to a limited number of destinations across the Air Arabia network. This, combined with the strong cost control measures that Air Arabia adopted since the start of Covid-19, resulted in limiting the net loss, the airline said in a statement.

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Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said: “We are pleased that Air Arabia registered these results in the third quarter amidst the continuing impact of Covid-19 on the travel industry worldwide. The early measures taken by the management team to control overall cost while seizing revenue opportunities under current circumstances helped limit net loss.”

While operations during the second quarter relied by large on repatriation, charter, and cargo flights, the third quarter witnessed a gradual resumption of scheduled operations across a limited number of routes.

Additionally, the carrier said it continued to take measures to reduce overall cost during the quarter while enhancing its liquidity.

The third quarter also witnessed the launch of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi with its first flight to Alexandria in July. This was followed by additional routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Cairo, Sohag, Dhaka, Kabul, Chattogram and Khartoum.

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Al Thani added: “The third quarter witnessed the resumption of a limited number of flights in selective markets and we are hopeful that more markets will gradually resume in time. We have also launched operations of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi during this unprecedent time reflecting the confidence and commitment we have towards the aviation industry in the UAE and the region.

“The year 2020 continues to be a challenging one for the world economy including the aviation sector. However, the fundamentals of the industry remain very strong and air travel will continue to play a vital role in economic recovery. While at Air Arabia we remain in a strong position to weather the impact of the pandemic, we will continue to gradually resume operations where possible while keeping business continuity as the prime focus”.

Air Arabia operates a scheduled, charter, and cargo flights across its operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt.

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