Dubai-based low-cost carrier sees better second half of 2018 amid 'challenging year'
Flydubai on Wednesday announced that it saw an annual loss of $43.5 million despite a better second half of 2018 which saw a profit of $43 million.
The low-cost airline posted a 12.4 percent rise in revenue to $1.7 billion, adding that total annual operating cost included a price impact of $112 million in fuel costs.
It added that 11 million passengers travelled across the flydubai network, a moderate year on year increase, while it took delivery of a total of seven new Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft during 2018.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said: “In line with expectations 2018 was a challenging year however we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue.
"We optimised our network by increasing flight frequencies on existing routes and adding new routes and as they become established they will support our further growth.”
Francois Oberholzer, chief financial officer of flydubai, added: “Our performance in 2018 was impacted largely due to increasing fuel costs, rising interest rates and unfavourable currency exchange movements. Following our half-year results, we continued to focus on further efficiency programmes across the business and these have resulted in a better second half. The emphasis we have put on these programmes is expected to result in an improvement to our financial performance.”
Fuel costs were 29.8 percent of total annual operating costs; compared to 25 percent for the same period a year earlier.
Ancillary revenue comprising baggage, cargo and inflight sales contributed 9.4 percent of revenue compared to 11.9 percent in the previous year.