Jazeera Airways expected to fly to Cairo in May

Carrier eyes positive Q1, profits in 2011; Jazeera seeking approval for domestic flights in Saudi
Jazeera Airways expected to fly to Cairo in May
By Reuters
Mon 11 Apr 2011 03:39 PM

Kuwait's
low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways is expected to start flights to Egypt's
capital in May and post a profit this year, the firm's chairman said.

Jazeera
Airways, which posted a net loss of KD2.8m ($10.13m) in 2010, swung to net
profit of KD2m in the fourth quarter.

"The
firm aims at posting profit in each quarter of 2011," chairman Marwan
Boodai said in an interview.

The carrier,
which aims to fly 82 routes in the Middle East within the next five years, won
approval this week from the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority to start flights
to Cairo, a long-awaited move.

"We
were deprived for years from operating flights to Cairo airport, which is
considered one of the most important regional destinations," Boodai said.

The carrier,
which competes with United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia and
Dubai-based low cost carrier flydubai, is seeking approval from Saudi
authorities to operate flights within the kingdom.

Last week,
the Shura Council, an advisory council, called for a study on allowing Gulf
airlines to fly domestic routes in the biggest Arab economy as its national
carrier struggles to meet demand.

Currently,
Saudi Airlines and low-cost carrier Nationall Air Services serve a domestic
market of around 27 million people.

Boodai said
that the carrier eyed a market share of up to 15 percent in 2011, adding that
in 2012 the picture would change with Jazeera expanding its fleet.

Jazeera said
last week that it would receive four new Airbus A320s between 2012 and 2014.
The firm has 11 A320s in operation.

Jazeera was
back to normal operations in Egypt, Lebanon and Bahrain, despite political
unrest, Boodai said.

The Arab
world has been rocked by a wave of pro-democracy protests which toppled Egypt's
and Tunisia's leaders and sparked demonstrations in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and
Saudi Arabia.

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