Home Airlines Flydubai 2017 net profit up 18% as Emirates partnership strengthens

Flydubai 2017 net profit up 18% as Emirates partnership strengthens

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Dubai-based hybrid carrier flydubai reported a full-year profit of AED37.3 million ($10.1 million) for 2017, up 18% on a net profit of AED31.6 million in 2016. It achieved the result on turnover of AED5.5 billion, compared to AED5 billion in the previous year.

Passenger numbers were up 5.5% at a record 10.9 million, compared to 10.4 million in 2016.

“The oil price continues to shape the business landscape and it remains a fine balance between fares, yields and passenger growth,” CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said. Fuel costs accounted for 25% of the company’s operating costs in 2017, the same percentage as in 2016.

Ancillary revenues amounted to a relatively modest 11.9% of total revenue, down from 13.8% in 2016.

Al Ghaith said the continued arrival of new, more fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX 8s into the fleet over the course of 2018—six joined in 2017, together with two more 737-800s—would have a positive effect: “We remain confident about the road ahead.”

Flydubai is on the way to becoming one of the world’s largest airlines, having confirmed an order for 175 737 MAXs (plus 50 options) in December 2017. The airline has a total of 295 737s on order when earlier batches are included.

Over the past year, flydubai and Dubai-based Emirates Airline have been drawing closer together in an extensive partnership and flydubai chairman Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the arrangement “has enjoyed a significant response from passengers who recognize the benefits of traveling around the world on a single ticket. As the opportunities presented by the codeshare progress, it will create new passenger flows going forward.”

Flydubai is increasingly spreading its route network beyond the Middle East; last year saw a 44% rise in the number of passengers carried from its 11 Russian destinations (Dubai is a popular tourist attraction for Russians), while Central Asia and the Caucasus also showed significant increases.

In the past week, the airline has also announced a service to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is part of a steady push into African destinations.

The airline is investing in a new HQ building in Dubai to support its continued growth. Fleet development in 2018 will bring seven more 737s into the fleet, including its first 737 MAX 9.

Some of these will replace four 737-800s that are being retired; 2017 saw the same number of 737-800s leaving the fleet, the first aircraft to be retired since the company’s launch in 2009.

 

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