Jazeera Airways returned to profitability for the year 2021, a period which continued to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel, reporting a net profit of KD7.1 million for the year, up 126.8% from the previous year. The earnings were supported by an increase of 48.2% in the number of passengers flown, which reached 1.0 million, while load factors increased by 3.9% to 66.8% and yield increased by 28.6% to KD73.9.
Operating revenue for 2021 stood at KD80.4 million, up 94.3%, and operating profit increased by 152.2% to KD10.8 million.
The airline returned to profitability in record time during the third quarter of the year following a second year impacted by restrictions and limitations in capacity imposed on travel at Kuwait International Airport, and globally, in response to the continued spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jazeera maintained the positive performance in the last quarter (Q4) of the year with a net profit of KD7.0 million, a 164.6% increase from the same quarter of 2020. Operating revenue increased by 285.5% to KD33.1 million while operating profit increased by 204.3% to KD9.3 million.
Number of passengers in Q4 increased by 476.6% to 520.2 thousand passengers, while the load factor increased by 35.2% to 74.2% and average utilisation of aircraft increased by 220.4% to 9.2 hours.
Commenting on the results, Marwan Boodai, Chairman, Jazeera Airways, said, “Jazeera’s performance in 2021 is proof that its flexible and resilient business model continues to safeguard customers, employees and shareholders in times of crises. Financially, our airline took the right steps to control costs and limit cash burn, while operationally we focused on new destinations that satisfied an appetite to travel to destinations marked “Covid-safe” as well as catering to a high and latent demand for connecting flights between the Middle East, Asia and Europe.”
Speaking of the airline’s performance, Jazeera Airways Chief Executive Officer, Rohit Ramachandran, said, “The challenges that the pandemic brought about in the travel industry in 2020 also opened new opportunities for our airline- cargo operations, charter flights and connecting routes were expanded to benefit our business. We were resourceful in adapting our business operations which enabled us to get through a very difficult period and come back strongly in 2021.”
Jazeera placed a new fleet order with Airbus for 20 A320neos, 8 A321neos and 5 further options. The deal is valued at US$3.4 billion (KD1.3 billion).
The order will effectively double Jazeera’s current fleet size to 35 aircraft, supporting the airline’s expansion plans to further boost its contribution to Kuwait’s travel sector. The aircraft mix aims to give Jazeera flexibility to extend its network to medium and longer haul destinations from Kuwait, offering passengers more choice to travel to popular destinations as much as underserved ones.