Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, announced today its financial results for the full year 2012, demonstrating steady growth and solid financial performance.For the full year ending December 31, 2012; Air Arabia reported a solid net profit of AED 425 million, beating analysts forecast and registering an increase of 55 per cent compared to AED 274 million reported for the same period in 2011. The airline’s turnover for the full year 2012 stood at AED 2.9 billion, an increase of 21 per cent as compared to AED 2.4 billion registered in 2011. Air Arabia carried over 5.3 million passengers in 2012, registering a 13 per cent increase compared to 4.7 million passengers in 2011. The carrier’s seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – stood at impressive 82 per cent for the full year ending December 31, 2012. These results were announced following a meeting of the Board of Directors of Air Arabia, who have proposed a dividend distribution of 7 per cent of capital, which is equivalent to 7 fils per share. This proposal is subject to ratification by the shareholders of Air Arabia at the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, attributed the strong financial results to airline’s rapid expansion plans in 2012 and the efficiency of its operations.He said: “As these results signify, Air Arabia continued to demonstrate its concerted efforts to enter into new markets and launch new ventures, while enabling more people to fly efficiently and affordably. The year 2012 saw Air Arabia expand its global network by entering new markets, taking more aircraft deliveries as well as offering its customers wider product offerings and services”. On the back of strong passenger numbers, the airline’s fourth quarter net profit stood at AED 83 million, increase of 6 per cent compared to AED 78 million in 2011. The fourth quarter turnover reached AED 755 million, representing an increase of 18 per cent compared to AED 638 million reported for the same period in 2011. Sheikh Al Thani continued: “With market conditions rebounding, the airline is fully confident in its ability to unlock opportunities for the low-cost model, which is pioneered by Air Arabia. As we continue to focus on expansion plans, we remain committed to making air travel accessible to millions of customers in the wider Arab region.” Air Arabia, which now operates flights to 82 destinations from three regional hubs; introduced nine new destination in 2012 from its primary hub in Sharjah - Kazan, Taif, Salalah, Ufa, Odessa, Erbil, Astana, Basra and Rostov. In addition, the airline has continued its expansion from its hubs in Morocco and Egypt, reaching a global network of 82 destinations. Air Arabia took delivery of six new A320 aircraft from Airbus in 2012 as part of an order for 44 aircraft placed in 2007. Air Arabia is expected to take delivery of another six new aircraft in 2012. Over the past 12 months, Air Arabia continued to be recognised for its LCC market leadership, winning the ‘World’s Second Best Performing Airline’ at Aviation Week‘s annual top-performing Airlines. The airline has also been recognised for its sustainable CSR program ‘Charity Cloud’ winning the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ at the 2012 Aviation Business Awards. Meanwhile, Air Arabia’s Group Chief Executive Officer has been named ‘CEO of the year – Aviation’ at the elite CEO Middle East Awards.