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 per cent from the previous year. The earnings were supported by an increase of 48.2 per cent in the number of passengers flown, which reached 1.0 million, while load factors increased by 3.9 per cent to 66.8 per cent and yield increased by 28.6 per cent to KD73.9.
Operating revenue for 2021 stood at KD80.4 million, up 94.3 per cent, and operating profit increased by 152.2 per cent 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 a positive performance in the last quarter (Q4) of the year with a net profit of KD7.0 million, a 164.6 per cent increase from the same quarter of 2020. Operating revenue increased by 285.5 per cent to KD33.1 million while operating profit increased by 204.3 per cent to KD9.3 million.
Number of passengers in Q4 increased by 476.6 per cent to 520.2 thousand passengers, while the load factor increased by 35.2 per cent to 74.2 per cent and average utilisation of aircraft increased by 220.4 per cent to 9.2 hours.
Commenting on the results, Jazeera Airways Chairman, Marwan Boodai 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 high and latent demand for connecting flights between the Middle East, Asia and Europe.”
Operations at Kuwait International Airport remained at limited capacity during the first nine months of the year, with restrictions imposed and direct flights suspended from 35 countries.
The fast roll-out of vaccinations in Kuwait contributed to the ease of restriction in the second half of the year, with PCR test mandated upon departure and arrival to limit the quarantine in Kuwait.
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.”