flydubai records $229 million profit in 2021, hints at fleet expansion

flydubai announced its annual results for the financial year 2021, reporting a $229 million profit as the industry continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Flydubai almost doubled its revenue to more than $1.4 billion compared to $773 million recorded in 2020, when business was impacted by the global health crisis, according to the carrier’s latest financial report dated March 7, 2022.  

“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,” flydubai chief executive officer Ghaith Al Ghaith said in the airline’s statement. 

 With the easing of travel restrictions across the world, flydubai saw a significant increase in passenger demand. The UAE government-owned carrier reported that by the end of December 2021 it had flown around 5.6 million passengers, a significant increase from the 3.2 million travelers recorded in 2020.  

The airline also revealed that the busiest scheduled routes across the network included flights to and from Alexandria (HBE), Bahrain (BAH), Bucharest (OTP), and Doha (DOH) as well as Karachi (KHI), Kathmandu (KTM), Male (MLE), Tbilisi (TBS), Tel Aviv (TLV) and Zanzibar (ZNZ). 

The flydubai CEO continued: “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.” 

While waiting for the state to give the green light for the return of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which had been grounded worldwide in 2019, flydubai expanded its mixed fleet to a total of 59 jets. The fleet now consists of 34 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s, 22 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes.  

The airline also included a short overview of its 2022 business development plan. According to the statement, flydubai is currently focused on further expanding its fleet and plans to take delivery of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in anticipation of an increase in air travel demand.  

Al Ghaith also remains optimistic about 2022, revealing that flydubai is set to 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 added. 

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