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Flydubai’s profit climbed 75 per cent in 2023 – Business Traveller

Dubai-based carrier flydubai has announced a record profit of US$572 million for the year ending 31 December 2023.

That figure represents a steep 75 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

It reported an annual revenue of US$3 billion, a 23 per cent increase over the US$2.5 billion it reported in 2022.

It said that its fuel cost remained its single highest operating cost accounting for 32 per cent of total annual operating costs. It added that it continues to explore fuel hedging options, and last year it hedged 12 per cent of its fuel requirement.

In 2023, flydubai carried 13.8 million passengers which was also an increase of 31 per cent over the previous year.

The airline increased its capacity by 27 per cent last year to 40,292 million ASKMs, with 13 new Boeing 737 aircraft added to its fleet.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai, said, “In its 15th year of operations, flydubai has emerged as one of the key players in the UAE’s aviation industry and a major contributor to Dubai’s economy. Its solid business model has enabled the carrier to grow exponentially even during challenging times, doubling its operating fleet and expanding its network since the pandemic. The decision to accelerate its aircraft deliveries during the pandemic, preserve its workforce and to move forward with its ambitious network expansion plans has proven to be the correct strategy for the carrier resulting in its strongest-ever performance.”

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Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at flydubai, added, “More than 108 million passengers have chosen flydubai since our first flight took off in 2009. We will continue with our strategic network development plans that will see more destinations join the flydubai network this year starting with the five new routes announced since the start of 2024 including Basel, Riga, Sochi, Tallinn and Vilnius. We will take delivery of 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft allowing us to add capacity on existing routes as demand for travel across our network returns to pre-pandemic levels.”

Last year, it launched 17 routes and ended 2023 with a network of 122 destinations in 52 countries. It launched operations to Krabi and Pattaya in Thailand marking its return to Southeast Asia.

It took delivery of 13 new aircraft and ended 2023 with 84 aircraft including 29 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 52 Boeing 737 MAX 8, and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. Three Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft were returned to the lessors at the end of their lease term.

It noted that challenges with the aircraft manufacturer’s delivery schedule meant that it received four fewer aircraft in 2023 than it had previously anticipated. To counter this, it entered another Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) agreement with Smartwings for six wet-leased aircraft.

One of the biggest decisions for the airline since its inception was made last year at the Dubai Airshow 2023 when it placed a US$11 billion order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners – the airline’s first-ever widebody order – deliveries of which will begin in 2026.

The airline’s workforce reached 5,545 employees with more than 1,000 new employees joining the airline last year.

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