DUBAI: UAE budget carrier Air Arabia's quarterly net profit rose 31 per cent yesterday, beating analyst forecasts, as it boosted flights on little-served routes to India and the Gulf, lifting passenger numbers.
The airline said it's net attributable profit was 65 million dirhams ($17.7m) for the second quarter ended June 30, up from 49.6m dirhams a year ago.
Two analysts had forecast profit of 52.5m dirhams and 51m dirhams in a Reuters poll.
Revenues rose to 729.6m dirhams, from 592.2m dirhams in the prior-year period.
"In the second quarter of this year, our proven ability to identify and capitalise on under-served routes continued to reap enormous benefits," chairman Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani said.
The carrier added new routes to Taif in Saudi Arabia and Salalah in Oman in the first half of the year and increased flights to cities in India, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The airline handled 1.3m passengers in the quarter, up 15pc over the same period in 2011, it said.
The average seat load factor stood at 85pc, up 3pc over last year.
The average seat load factor is a measure of capacity utilisation.
Sharjah-based Air Arabia is the only low budget carrier operating out of the UAE, home to Dubai government-owned Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways.
Air Arabia also has hubs in Egypt and Morocco.
It competes with other regional low cost carriers such as flydubai and Kuwait's Jazeera Airways.
Air Arabia shares rose 2.17pc yesterday. The stock has risen 10.2pc this year.