UAE's flydubai registers Dhs841m profit in 2021
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UAE’s flydubai registers Dhs841m profit in 2021

UAE’s flydubai registers Dhs841m profit in 2021

The low cost carrier’s total annual revenue earning in 2021 was Dhs5.3bn compared to Dhs2.8bn in 2020, reflecting an increase of 86 per cent

Gulf Business

Low cost carrier (LCC) flydubai has announced its 2021 annual results, with the airline reporting a profit of Dhs841m ($229m). The airline’s total annual revenue earning amounted to Dhs5.3bn ($1,434m) compared to Dhs2.8bn ($773m) in 2020; an increase of 86 per cent.

The airline carried 5.6 million passengers, an increase of 76 per cent compared to 2020, with an overall seat factor of 69 per cent.

The LCC launched 22 new routes, 13 of which were unserved destinations from Dubai. The top 10 busiest routes for scheduled flights across its network were Alexandria, Bahrain, Bucharest, Doha, Karachi, Kathmandu, Male, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv and Zanzibar.

With the easing of the travel restrictions around the network, flydubai saw an increase in the demand for travel. In January 2020, flydubai operated 5,701 flights. The number of flights surpassed pre-pandemic levels in December 2021 when the airline operated 6,430 flights.

Flydubai also reported an increase in demand for connecting traffic with 34 per cent of passengers connecting on to its network or through its codeshare with Emirates.

Demand for business class increased in the following regions on the flydubai network, with the GCC seeing an increase of 42 per ent in 2021 up from 35 per cent in 2019, and Europe touching 51 per cent in 2021 up from 41per cent in 2019. Africa also saw an increase of 42 per cent in 2021 up from 35 per cent in 2019.

The airline’s fleet expanded to 59 aircraft, including 34 next-generation Boeing 737-800, 22 Boeing 737 MAX 8, and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

Commenting on the results, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai, said: “The tremendous results flydubai is reporting for 2021 come after a very challenging two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The decisions taken by the UAE’s leadership, which saw the implementation of the precautionary safety measures throughout the customer journey, gave visitors the confidence to travel to Dubai; resulting in a 76 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.  We remain well placed to continue to welcome passengers across our network to Dubai and beyond.  flydubai is intrinsic to Dubai’s travel and tourism industry.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO at flydubai, added: “flydubai’s business model remains strong and has served us well through the pandemic.  As demand returned these strong fundamentals have translated into a significant improvement in our financial performance.  This achievement has been made possible by the commitment of our hardworking employees combined with our business agility.”

Sharing the challenges faced during the year, Al Ghaith added:  “A challenge that remained throughout 2021 was the constant changes to the travel restrictions.  This meant that passengers did not have the confidence to book travel early, however they continued to travel with a shorter booking window ahead of their date of travel.  During the second half of the year, travel restrictions began to ease which led to an increase in demand for travel across our network.  We launched flights to seasonal summer destinations to offer more options for passengers and the increase in our flight schedule in the second half of the year supported the demand for inbound travel to Dubai.”

The airline’s strategy for the year ahead is to contribute to the rebuilding of the travel sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.  Starting this month, flydubai will take delivery of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which will see further deployment of its onboard product and support the airline’s future growth.  These aircraft will be deployed across the network to provide customers with the opportunity to travel to more places, more often.

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