By Andy Sambidge
Airline's chairman hails performance as 'exceptional' as net profit soars by 229.4%
Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways more than tripled its net profit in the first quarter of 2013, making it the best Q1 performance on record.
Revenue of KD14.7m ($51.4m) represented a 15.7 percent increase compared to Q1 last year while net profit rose to KD3.6m, up 229.4 percent, the airline said in a statement.
It added that it flew five percent more passengers in the first three months of the year compared to Q1 2012 and load factor reached 70 percent, up 15.2 percent.
By the end of Q1, the carrier had assets of KD145m and cash reserves of KD45m, the statement added.
Jazeera Airways Group chairman Marwan Boodai said: "These exceptional results were generated by our airline business, which saw an increase in passenger loads and a full recovery from the three Syrian destinations that were suspended by Q4 2012.
"All these factors combined in our airline business, coupled with the ongoing success of our independent aircraft leasing business, have resulted in our best first quarter results in the history of the Group."
The company's outlook for 2013 continues to be positive, he said.
The company's forecasts remain unchanged and expect a mild second quarter, a seasonal increase in demand in the third quarter, and a mild fourth quarter to close the year.
Jazeera Airways is based in Kuwait and operates a network including Dubai, Bahrain, Beirut, Alexandria, Amman, Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor, Mashhad, Sohag, Jeddah, Riyadh, Cairo and Al Najaf.
The company said last month that it was optimistic it will exceed its business plan targets this year following a record-breaking year in 2012.
In 2012, the airline posted an eight percent increase in revenue of KD62.2m with net profit rising 32 percent to nearly KD14m.
I have mixed emotions about this carrier, I definately feel with an overhaul this airline could dramatically increase thier bottom-line if they would purchase more planes, upgrade their website which is cumbersome to the consumer and understand customer expectations of this carrier. I don't understand why an airline that is currently the only functioning airline in the Kuwait market would not want to increase flights after 6:30 PM to Dubai when the customer demand is there and render three flights a day to a competitor on this route. Their customer base mainly flies them because they fly out of Terminal 1, not because they are a great carrier. Their customer numbers are mainly Kuwaitis for this reason, however they have failed to attract a non-Kuwaiti business crowd. Their taxation is too high on their tickets, but what concerns me the most is the lack of support the Kuwait government has given this carrier - they should be given their own terminal on KIA at the far end of the property