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Sun 24 Apr 2011 07:17 PM

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Kuwait's Jazeera Airways narrows losses to $10.1m

Chairman says strong Q3 and Q4 performance gives airline optimism for the next year

Kuwait's Jazeera Airways narrows losses to $10.1m
Jazeera Airways.

Kuwait's Jazeera Airways on Sunday said a stronger second half of 2010 has enabled the airline to narrow losses last year, compared to 2009.

Net losses totalled KD2.8m ($10.1m) for the year, compared to more than KD8m in 2009, the carrier said in a statement.

It added that the company's third quarter earnings were the best since the second half of 2008 while the second half of 2010 saw the airline enjoy two consecutive profitable quarters at operating and net levels for the first time.

Load factors in the second half of last year increased by 11 percent to 66 percent, compared to the same period in 2009 while the average yield improved by 40 percent to KD34.4.

Jazeera Airways Group chairman Marwan Boodai said: "Our performance in 2010 was not just about drastically cutting our losses. It was about turning around our business and bringing it back to profitability after a year of consecutive quarterly losses due to various external reasons.

"Chief among these external factors was the incredible overcapacity that was dumped on Middle Eastern routes by other players, mostly governmental airlines."

He said six months after the management began rolling out a set of cost-cutting measures, Jazeera Airways closed the fourth quarter with KD2m in profit.

By year-end, the airline carried 1.3 million passengers in total on a total of 14,276 flights across its network.

"Looking forward, it goes without saying that we plan to continue being profitable in each and every quarter of 2011, to grow the gap between us and our competitors," he added.

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