SHARJAH (AFP) – Net profit at Gulf low-cost carrier Air Arabia dropped nine percent in the third quarter from a year earlier amid concerns about swine flu and the credit crunch, it said on Saturday.
The different timing of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan also contributed to the fall in profit to 144 million dirhams (39 million dollars) for the three months to September, Air Arabia said.
Sales fell to 547.5 million dirhams (149 million dollars) from 624.7 million (170 million) in the third quarter of 2008, it said.
For the nine months to September, net profit improved six percent to 367 million dirhams (91 million dollars) from the same period a year earlier, the company said.
The airline was founded in 2003 and has hubs in both Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Casablanca in Morocco.
In September 2009, Air Arabia announced a joint-venture agreement with the Travco Group to launch a low-cost carrier in Egypt, which will give the carrier a third hub. Operations in Egypt are slated to begin in 2010, the company said.