Kuwait's Jazeera Airways said full-year profit more than doubled in 2019, helped by an increase in operating revenue and a rise in its passenger tally.
The listed budget carrier's net profit jumped 124.1 per cent year-on-year to 14.9 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh179.6m) in 2019. Full-year operating revenue increased 25.9 per cent to 103.7m dinars, Jazeera Airways said in a statement on Tuesday.
During the year, the airline carried 2.4m passengers - 20.6 per cent more than in 2018. Load factor, a measure of seats filled, rose to 77.5 per cent year-on-year.
"The significant leap in profitability is the result of profitable growth coupled with an aggressive cost focus," said Marwan Boodai, Jazeera Airways' chairman. "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."
Jazeera Airways posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss in 2019, compared to the same period a year earlier.
The carrier's net loss in the three months to December reached 1.2m dinars, compared to a net loss of 1.8m dinars in the same period a year earlier. Fourth-quarter operating revenue rose to reach 20.9m, up 11.8 per cent from the same quarter in 2018.
It carried 614,000 passengers during the quarter, higher by 28.5 per cent year-on-year, while its load factor rose to 75.5 per cent.
Jazeera Airways' board of directors proposed a dividend of 67.5 fils per share, subject to approval by the airline's shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting.
The airline took delivery of three new Airbus A320neo aircraft in the fourth quarter, bringing its fleet size to 13 jets, including nine of the older A320s and four of the A320neo. It expects to take delivery of another five A320neos in 2020.
The all-Airbus operator is in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing for around two dozen airplanes.
In 2020, Jazeera Airways is planning new direct services from Kuwait to Sharjah, Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Qassim and Hail in Saudi Arabia.
The airline is also exploring opportunities to continue its expansion in the European market within the 6.5-hour flight radius of its longer-range narrowbody jets.
Jazeera Airways currently flies to 37 destinations across the Middle East, India and Europe with its fleet of 13 Airbus jets.