Low-cost carrier Air Arabia Tuesday announced a net profit of AED 66 Million for the second quarter ending June 30, an increase by 31% compared to AED 51 Million in the corresponding period in 2011. The carrier’s turnover for the second quarter of 2012 stood at AED 729 Million, an increase of 23% compared to AED 592 Million reported for the same period in 2011. The airline welcomed onboard 1.3 million passengers in the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 15% compared to the same period last year. Air Arabia’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – for the three months ending June 30, stood at an impressive 85%, up 3% for the same period last year. Air Arabia Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani said, “Air Arabia’s expansion strategy and efficient operating model continue to be reflected in the airline’s financial performance, amidst continues political challenges that the region is witnessing. In the second quarter of this year, our proven ability to identify and capitalise on underserved served routes continued to reap enormous benefits.” For the six months ending June 30, Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED 115 Million, an increase of 22% compared to AED 94 Million in the corresponding period in 2011. The Dubai Financial Market listed carrier’s turnover for the first half of 2012 stood at AED 1.3 Billion, an increase of 22% compared to AED 1.1 Billion reported in the same period of 2011. The airline welcomed onboard 2.5 million passengers in the first half of 2012, an increase of 11% compared to the same period last year. “Looking ahead, we are confident about the outlook of low cost travel in the region. As we continue expanding into new markets and adding new services, we look forward to providing best-in-class services for our customers throughout the year and beyond,” said Sheikh Abdullah. The carrier added two new routes in the first half of 2011, with Taif in Saudi Arabia and Salalah in Oman bringing the airlines global network to 75 destinations. Additionally, the airline increased the frequency of flights to Nagpur in India, Dammam and Riyadh in Saudi as well as to Kuwait. The first half of 2012 also saw the delivery of three new aircraft from Airbus as well as Air Arabia completing its first maintenance check with its new hangar facility. The second quarter of 2012 saw Air Arabia being ranked as the world’s second best performing airline in a study by Aviation Week, the leading global aviation magazine. The Top-Performing Airlines (TPA) Study ranked the top 10 performing airlines worldwide, based on five different performance categories, including financial and operational performance. Air Arabia was the only Middle East airline to claim a spot in the study.