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Air Arabia board approves dividend; Royal Jordanian to take delivery of new aircraft


Air Arabia was flat despite announcing during trading that its Board of Directors approved the payment of a cash dividend of 10% for 2009 at its third Annual General Meeting. The carrier reported a 14.2% year-on-year increase in revenue to USD536.9 million and a net profit of USD123.1 million (-11.4% year-on-year) for the 12 months ended 31-Dec-2009.

Chairman, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani, stated 2010 “remains uncertain”, with pressure on yields increasing. Meanwhile, Air Arabia Egypt is expected to commence operations in 2H2010 - later than originally expected.

Kuwait National Airways was also flat yesterday.

Royal Jordanian expanding fleet

Royal Jordanian (-4.7%) fell, as the Amman Stock Exchange slipped 0.9%. Royal Jordanian announced plans to take delivery of two 283-seat A330s, less than one year old, on 21-May-2010 and an Embraer 175 in 4Q2010. The A330s will cover part of the carrier's route network in light of delays to the delivery of 11 B787s, which are now scheduled to commence delivery in 2013, delayed from early 2011. The carrier currently operates 29 A330s and seven Embraer 175/195s. 

RJ plans to launch Amman-Madinah service on 28-Mar-2010 and Amman-Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur service in Jun-2010 with A330 equipment. The A330 aircraft will also be operated on four times weekly Hong Kong via Bangkok, three times weekly Colombo and daily London services.

Kenya Airways rebounds

In Africa, Kenya Airways (+6.4%) rebounded, driven by demand from foreign investors. Kestral Capital analyst, Snehal Shah, told Reuters that investors expect the carrier to benefit from the upcoming FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Kenya’s All-Share Index (+1.1%) rallied, with analysts expecting Kenyan shares to continue to rise this week.

Elsewhere in Africa, 1time Holdings (+0.9%) also gained, while Lonrho and Comair were flat.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 22-Mar-2010

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