By Andy Sambidge
Low cost carrier reports 12% growth in profits as it flies more than 7.2m passengers during 2014
flydubai on Tuesday reported a net profit of AED250 million ($68 million) an increase of 12.3 percent compared to 2013 with total revenue of AED4.4 billion for 2014.
The low-cost carrier said it flew 7.25 million passengers in 2014 with increases seen on routes to Africa (14 percent), Central Asia (57 percent), Europe (11 percent) and the Subcontinent (11 percent).
The airline added 23 new routes last year, creating a network of 86 destinations while also increasing frequency on many of its existing routes. The airline now operates 1,400 flights per week.
Looking ahead, Ghaith Al Ghaith, the airline's CEO, said: “We will end 2015 with a fleet of 50 aircraft. Together with the new route launches this is an endorsement of the strategy we set out at the beginning and underlines the achievements of the past six years.”
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai, said: “Recording its profitability for the third consecutive full year, the 2014 results show that the recent order for more aircraft as well as investments in the offering on the ground and in the air have been the right strategy for the airline.”
Al Ghaith added: “2014 saw flydubai open up a record number of new routes in what was a demanding year. To have achieved what we have achieved is significant.
"The continued investment in our people and operations has strengthened our business and ensures that we are well positioned for sustained growth in the future. It is good to see that more passengers than ever before are travelling with us.”
flydubai said it ended the year with 70 percent of its routes offering Business Class, with the remaining routes to receive this service this year.
The airline said it continued to strengthen its team last year by increasing the number of staff to 2,883 including 571 pilots, 1,235 cabin crew and 221 engineers.
It added that fuel remains the single largest cost at 36 percent of the total operating costs and though lower than the previous year has benefited from the downward trend in fuel prices starting from the last quarter of 2014.