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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Jazeera Airways announces strong profits

The Middle East's only independent airline has reported strong growth for 2006.

The Middle East's only independent airline has reported strong growth for 2006.

Jazeera Airways, which is neither owned nor subsidised by the government, generated $8.7 million profits in the year to December 31, 2006. Revenues for the same period were $74.5 million, with earnings per share reaching $8.7 cents.

Commenting on the figures, Jazeera Airways' chairman and CEO Marwan Boodai said: "We broke a 50-year monopoly with our first flight on October 30, 2005. Since then we were able to make a notable presence for ourselves in a market that is filled with government-backed competition."

Kuwait-based Jazeera was founded in June 2004 following an IPO that raised $34 million. The airline's directors then spent 15 months building the business and launching five Airbus A320s to five destinations.

Since then, Jazeera has introduced a new fleet of Airbuses that fly to several destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, Iran and India.

The airline, which has hubs in Dubai and Kuwait, recently applied to join the Kuwait Stock Exchange, the second largest trading platform in the Middle East. Its directors hope to list the company during this year's second quarter.

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