Abu Dhabi: Dubai-based airline flyDubai on Monday announced a profit of 841 million Dirham ($229m) for 2021, while annual revenue surged by 86 per cent to Dirham 5.3 billion from Dirham 2.8 billion in 2020, the airline said in a statement on Monday.
The profit surges in 2021 as passenger numbers grew on the back of easing COVID-19 travel restrictions and improving economic conditions worldwide.
The profit of 2021 compared with a loss of 712.6 million dirhams in 2020, when the travel industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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,” he added.
Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said the airline’s strong business model helped it tide through the crisis. “As demand returned these strong fundamentals have translated into a significant improvement in our financial performance.”
The number of flights surpassed pre-pandemic levels in December 2021, when the airline operated 6,430 flights, compared with 5,701 flights in January 2020.
Flydubai launched 22 new routes in 2021, 13 of which were unserved destinations from Dubai. The top 10 busiest routes for scheduled flights were Alexandria, Bahrain, Bucharest, Doha, Karachi, Kathmandu, Male, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv and Zanzibar. It also flew to five additional destinations in summer to meet demand on the routes.
The airline has also seen an increase in demand for connecting traffic with 34 per cent of passengers connecting on to the flydubai network or through its codeshare with Emirates.
The airline fleet expanded to 59 aircraft including 34 next-generation Boeing 737-800, 22 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
In July, flydubai reached an agreement with Boeing and the airline has adjusted its aircraft orders which had been placed in 2013 and 2017. The airline revised down the total number of aircraft it will receive by 65 aircraft. As of December 31, 25 aircraft had been received with 161 due for delivery.
“During 2022, we will see the largest number of aircraft delivered in any year since the launch of the airline. As the momentum for travel continues to build, we will increase frequencies and introduce new destinations on our network during 2022. To support this growth trajectory, we will need to recruit the best people in the industry willing to contribute to flydubai’s continued success story,” Al Ghaith said.