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Wed 28 Jan 2009 09:30 PM

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Jazeera Airways ups profit target

Increased passenger numbers set to give profits boost to low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways this year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, chief executive of Kuwait's Jazeera Airways, Marwan Boodai, said he expects the airline's 2009 profit target to be higher than last year's 4 million dinars as the low-cost carrier profits from higher passenger numbers.He added that the company has shelved a plan for a secondary stock market listing in Dubai, having delayed it last year.

Boodai said last year the firm was sticking to its profit target of 4 million dinars in 2008.

"We're close to the target. This year we are going to be aggressive. We're benefiting from the credit crunch ... The profit target is more than 4 million dinars," he said.

The firm had planned to list outside of Kuwait in part to boost its profile. However, Dubai's main stock index fell more than 70 percent last year.

"For the time being it's shelved," Boodai said. "We get enough equity out of existing capital ... We don't need it anymore."

Boodai said access to capital was not too tight for those firms which had quality assets.

"Capital is there. If you have real assets, capital is there at competitive rates. We have real assets, not real estates," he said.

On Boodai Corporation, which is one of the major shareholders of Jazeera, Boodai said the firm was looking to expand into utility sectors in Kuwait and in the Gulf region.

"We see opportunities coming up ... with the credit crunch. We want to break government monopoly. Utilities are the areas we are focusing on closely. Governments have to be out of it." (Reuters)

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