The 2019 financials are in for Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways and there’s reason for the airline to celebrate. Today, it announced a net profit of 14.9 million Kuwaiti Dinar for 2019, equivalent to approximately US$48.9 million. The most impressive part: this is an increase of 124.1% from the previous year. So what did Jazeera do to boost its profits from 2018? Let’s take a look.
More aircraft, more flights, more passengers
“The significant leap in profitability is the result of profitable growth coupled with an aggressive cost focus. Our airline continues to grow and expand its footprint in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, while our Jazeera Terminal T5, which is the only example of an airline-owned terminal in the region, significantly contributed to the strong results.” -Marwan Boodai, Jazeera Airways Chairman
In fact, Jazeera Airways carried 2.4 million passengers in 2019. This marks a fantastic 20.6% increase from 2018. The overall load factor for the year was a modest 77.5%. The airline also reported that its aircraft had a utilization of 13.3 hours.
The increase in capacity was made possible with new aircraft. In fact, Jazeera Airways took delivery of three new Airbus A320neos in 2019. This brings the total number of aircraft in its fleet to 13. This is the combination of 9 A320ceos and 4 A320neos. Jazeera expects another five A320neos to be delivered in 2020.
2019 has been so successful for Jazeera Airways that its Board of Directors is proposing a dividend distribution of 67.5% of share capital. The proposal was actually made today, following a meeting of the Board. However, the dividend isn’t finalized yet as it is subject to ratification by Jazeera Airways’ shareholders at the Company’s upcoming annual general meeting.
Significant route expansion in 2019
Jazeera Airways launched a few significant routes from its Kuwait hub in 2019. This included the following routes:
- Direct service to London Gatwick in October
- Service to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in June
- Flights to the Turkish coastal city of Bodrum in May
- The Nepalese capital Kathmandu in November
- Osh in Kyrgyzstan in November
- Karachi, the second-largest city in Pakistan in November
- The family leisure-destination of Al Ain (UAE) in December
- and finally, Dammam in Saudi Arabia, also in December
Of particular excitement was the airline’s longest route and only truly European destination: London Gatwick. Now travelers flying out of Kuwait have a low-cost direct option where there used to be only Kuwait Airways and British Airways offering direct service.
Plans for 2020
Jazeera Airways isn’t done expanding just yet. In fact, the airline is also planning new direct services from Kuwait to Sharjah in UAE. Interestingly, Sharjah is the home of fellow budget carrier Air Arabia.
The airline will also fly to Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh as well as Qassim and Hail in Saudi Arabia. The airline also says it is “looking into opportunities to continue its expansion in the European market within the 6.5-hour flight radius.” What this might mean, however, remains a mystery.
Established in 2004, Jazeera Airways is now going through an exciting period of route and fleet expansion. We’re excited to see how it does in 2020. However, with a number of other budget airlines expanding, the competition is heating up in the middle east.
What European city do you think the airline will fly to next? Let us know your guess in the comments!