Jazeera Airways posts $28.4m loss in 2009

Assets rose to $256m at the end of last year compared with $253.5m in 2008. Plans to increase services to India and Pakistan. (SUPPLIED)

Budget carrier Jazeera Airways has posted a net loss of KD8.2 million ($28.4m, Dh104.3m) in 2009 compared with a net profit of $15.6m the previous year, the Kuwait-based carrier said yesterday in a statement. The company, which put down the loss to the fallout of the global financial crisis, said that it registered total revenues of KD46.02m for the year 2009, when it carried more than 1.8 million passengers.

Jazeera Airways' assets, meanwhile, rose slightly to $256m at the end of last year compared with $253.5m in 2008, the company said in a statement on the Kuwait Stock Exchange website. It added that shareholder's equity dropped sharply to $67.7m last year from $96.2m at the end of 2008.

Jazeera Airways further unveiled plans to increase frequency to destinations such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Lahore, as well as launching new flights to summer destinations of Antalya, Hurghada and Salalah.

"We entered 2009 knowing it would be a challenging year not just because of the financial crisis alone but also because of the extra capacity that entered the region," Jazeera Airways' Chairman, Marwan Boodai said in a statement.

In its forward strategy, however, Jazeera Airways recently rolled out its vertical integration strategy to drive addition growth and profitability for the airline through acquisitions, infrastructure investments, and strategic partnerships.

As a first step in the direction, the airline acquired Sahaab Aircraft Leasing in mid-February, allowing Jazeera Airways access to regional and global leasing markets.

The acquisition, expected to be completed prior to March 31 this year, will enable Jazeera Airways to consolidate Sahaab's earnings beginning from January 1, 2010. This will add an expected KD1.2m in operational revenue in the first quarter of this year.

Jazeera Airways currently has 11 Airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet, operating services to about 25 destinations in the Middle East, Asia and Turkey. The carrier plans to expand its fleet and has placed orders for a further 29 A320 aircraft.


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