Jazeera Airways, continuing robust growth, announced record net profits of KD20.1 million for the year 2022, an increase of 183.6 per cent over 2021. Operating revenues for 2022 increased to KD182.116 million, up 126.5 per cent, and operating profit increased by 148.4 per cent to KD26.8 million.
With the resumption of operations at the Kuwait International Airport (KIA), the airline built on its quick return to profitability in the second half of 2021. During 2022, Jazeera also exceeded 2019 performance; which was the last comparable full year of unrestricted operations, by 30 per cent. While overall passenger traffic at the airport dropped by 26 per cent compared to 2019, Jazeera’s traffic grew by 19 per cent during the same period. Passenger numbers increased by 247.5 per cent to an unprecedented 3.6 million, compared to the last year. Load factor increased by 10.2 per cent to 77.01, which offset a decline in yield, the average fare paid per passenger, by 35.1 per cent to KD47.96.
Marwan Boodai, Jazeera Airways Chairman, commented, “We are extremely proud to report record annual net profits for the year 2022, the highest in the history of Jazeera Airways. In the last year, high fuel prices added approximately KD9 million to our costs. Our financial performance despite this additional cost burden testifies to the aggressive cost focus across the organization. The fact that we carried 3.6 million passengers in 2022, up from 2.4 million passengers in 2019, shows the strong acceptance of our business model and growing service by our customers. With our growing fleet, new upcoming routes and planned enhancements to our operations, 2023 is going to be another exciting year.”
In the last quarter of 2022, the airline reported a modest net loss of KD0.7 million, compared to a profit of KD7 million in the same quarter of 2021. Operating revenue increased by 24.7 per cent to KD41.3 million while operating profit decreased to KD0.9 million.
In Q4 2022, passenger numbers increased by 88 per cent to 978.1 thousand passengers as load factor increased by 4.5 per cent to 78.7 per cent and average utilisation of aircraft increase by 35.3 per cent to 12.4 hours compared to the same quarter last year.
The Board of Directors recommended distributing a cash dividend of 50 fils per share for the second half of 2022. This is in addition to the interim cash dividends of 30 fils per share, distributed for the first half of 2022, bringing the total cash dividends distribution for full year 2022 to 80fils per share.
In the last year, addressing an increasing demand from travellers, Jazeera Airways launched 15 new routes to cities in the Middle East, North & South Asia and Europe. These included Vienna (Austria), Prague (Czech Republic), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Turkistan (Kazakhstan), Namangan (Uzbekistan), Bengaluru (India), Thiruvananthapuram (India), Bhairahawa (Nepal), Chattogram (Bangladesh), Xian (China), Salalah (Oman), Qassim (Saudi Arabia), Hail (Saudi Arabia), Taif (Saudi Arabia) and Abha (Saudi Arabia).
Following the addition of these routes, the airline now flies to eight cities in India and Saudi Arabia as well as two cities each in Bangladesh and Nepal, serving 58 destinations in total.
Marking a key milestone, Jazeera Airways received the “Approved Training Organization” certification from Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), enabling the airline to conduct training programs for pilots and cabin crew at its headquarters in Kuwait.
In ongoing efforts to enhance customer experience, Jazeera Airways also introduced several new initiatives including a dedicated customer service centre, early check-in service and a WhatsApp communication service for passengers.
In 2022, Jazeera Airways received two additional A320neos, the first to be delivered from a 2021 order for 28 aircraft from Airbus. The airline’s fleet now includes 19 aircraft and is anticipated to grow to 35 by the year 2026, in line with the airline’s expansion plans for the coming years.
The Moscow route introduced recently, expanded Jazeera Airways’ growing list of direct flights from Kuwait and is in demand for passengers wanting to travel from Moscow to the Middle East region and connect to other destinations. Several other new destinations are being planned and will be added to the airline’s network in 2023.
Other operational enhancements are also scheduled for the coming year, to facilitate a smoother experience for passengers starting from the airport to their individual destinations.