Air Arabia 2010 net profit down by nearly a third

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Middle Eastern budget carrier Air Arabia has reported a 31.5% year-on-year drop in net profit for full-year 2010.

The carrier's net profit for the 12 months ended 31 December fell to Dhs309.6 million ($84.3 million) from the Dhs452 million posted at the end of 2009.

Revenue for the year rose 5.5% to Dhs2.08 billion. Passenger numbers increased by 10% to 4.45 million and the carrier's load factor grew to 83% from 80% a year earlier.

Air Arabia's board has proposed a dividend distribution of 8% of its capital, which equates to 8 fils per share.

The carrier aims to double its fleet to more than 50 aircraft by 2016.