RIYADH: Air Arabia has reported a SR20 million ($5 million) fourth-quarter profit for 2020 which, although modest, was considered good in light of the challenges facing the aviation sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the carrier’s CEO Adel Ali told AlSharq Bloomberg.
Ali said oil prices, the gradual return of flights due to a drop in travel restrictions and the reopening of borders during the last few months of 2020 had helped contribute to profits being achieved in the final quarter of last year.
“The conditions did not affect the delivery schedules for 120 new aircraft as of 2024,” he said, adding that the company would receive an Airbus 321 next month.
Ali said the first quarter of 2021 had witnessed renewed challenges that could have a bearing on its results, however the roll-out of vaccines worldwide would contribute “significantly to the recovery of the aviation sector” starting from the second half of this year.”
Air Arabia has expanded its network of destinations despite the current conditions and is launching flights to Sri Lanka and Armenia this month, he said.
The CEO predicted a surge in recovery this summer, with regional travel overall returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and global travel returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.