Air Arabia said it witnessed the full impact of the global COVID-19 pandemics within the past three months, as the losses in the second quarter dragged its balance sheet to red. The Middle Eastern low cost carrier revealed a net loss of $46 million (AED 169 million) in the first half of 2020. 

On August 11, 2020, Air Arabia revealed its financial results for the first half of 2020. During the six months, it carried 2.48 million passengers across all five of its hubs ‒ 57% less than a year before. Consequently, the airline’s turnover dropped by 53% to $278 million (AED 1.021 billion).

The financial results were mostly affected by a deficient second quarter, which witnessed the most severe impact of COVID-19, the airline said. During the period, Air Arabia’s operations mostly relied on repatriation, charter, and cargo flights. Revenues fell to $32 million (AED 120 million), while net loss grew to $65 million (AED 239 million).

“Air Arabia started the year 2020 with strong performance promising another year of growth and profitability. However, the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 left airlines worldwide battling the strongest challenge in its history,” said the carrier’s chairman Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani in a statement.

According to Al Thani, the airline’s management implemented early cost control and liquidity improvement measures, which allowed limiting the net loss of the first half to “acceptable” levels. Nevertheless, outlook remains bleak. Despite the ongoing gradual reopening of selective markets, Air Arabia’s chairman expects COVID-19 would have a lasting impact on the aviation industry.