x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Flydubai profits jump as passenger numbers increase 38%

Results "reflect the strategic gap we fill, and in particular the approach we have taken to open up 46 routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai," says chief.

Flydubai has reported a 47 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit for last year, boosted by a 38 per cent increase in passenger numbers.

Net profit reached Dh222.8 million on revenues of Dh3.7 billion.

“Continued demand for travel within a five-hour flying radius of Dubai resulted in an increase in passenger numbers to 6.82 million,” flydubai said.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, the chief executive of flydubai, said: “Our results reflect the strategic gap we fill, and in particular the approach we have taken to open up 46 routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai.”

Last year flydubai launched 17 new routes, bringing its total network to 66 destinations. It also doubled its destinations to eight in Russia.

Eastern Europe is considered one of the key markets for flydubai, as it operates 22 flights to Ukraine between Donetsk, Kiev, Karkiv and Odessa. Flydubai said this week that it continues to fly normally to Ukraine, despite the escalating unrest in the country.

Flydubai said that the operational climate this year “will remain challenging”.

“[However] the outlook remains positive due to the efficiency and flexibility of flydubai’s model and operations.”

The Dubai-based carrier expects to receive eight new aircraft this year.

“In hedging its fuel bills for the year, you can see that flydubai is already pacing itself for future expansion — any threat of market saturation or too much competition is badly overplayed,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

Fuel expense represents the largest operating cost for flydubai, at 39.5 per cent of its total costs. The carrier said it would hedge 29 per cent of its fuel requirements for this year.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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