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flydubai posts robust 2017: Any headwinds for UAE’s top carriers?

flydubai announced today its Full-Year Results for the year ending 31 December 2017.

The low cost carrier reported total revenue of AED 5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) compared to AED 5 billion ($1.37 billion) last year; an increase of 9.2% compared to the same period reported in last year’s results.

With a profit of $10.1 million for 2017, the airline extends a run of profitability that stretches since 2012.

Flyubai carried 10.9 million passengers, a record number for the airline, while passenger numbers grew by 5.5% compared to the previous year.

flydubai contributed 27% of the total growth at Dubai Airports for the GCC market; contributing 29% of overall traffic to the region.

With up to 295 aircraft on order flydubai becomes one of the world’s top ten airlines in terms of order backlog.

Related: flydubai settles choice for codesharing terminal with Emirates

Reasons for strong performance

Commenting on the results, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, said: “The results demonstrate the key role that flydubai continues to play in the development of trade and tourism in the UAE.  2017 also saw flydubai place its third and largest aircraft order illustrating its contribution to Dubai as a centre of aviation and represents the scale of the ambition planned for the airline.”

Commenting on the expanded codeshare announced last year, he added: “In its early stages, the partnership with Emirates has enjoyed a significant response from passengers who recognise the benefits of travelling around the world on a single ticket.  As the opportunities presented by the codeshare progress it will create new passenger flows going forward.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said: “The oil price continues to shape the business landscape and it remains a fine balance between fares, yields and passenger growth.  The introduction of new and more fuel efficient aircraft into our fleet will be a positive influence and we will see greater benefit as more Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft join the fleet.

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Fuel costs were 25% of total operating costs; the same as 2016.

Eight new aircraft joined the fleet including two Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 and six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

For the first time since the airline was launched in 2009, the airline retired four aircraft in line with its fleet management policy to maintain a young and efficient fleet.

How Did low cost airline Air Arabia perform?

upwards and onwards

Air Arabia announced full-year financial results for 2017, and delivered high levels of profitability and growth across the breadth of its operations.

Air Arabia’s net profit for the full year ending December 31, 2017 was AED 662 million ($180 million), a 30% increase compared to AED 509 million ($138.7 million) registered in 2016.

Turnover for the full year 2017 was in line with the preceding 12 months reaching AED 3.74 billion ($1bn).

Watch: Low cost Air Arabia’s Airbus orders reveal plans to compete on airspace

More than 8.5 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2017 and the average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – in 2017 stood at an impressive 79%.

Following its solid full year 2017 performance, Air Arabia’s Board of Directors proposed a dividend distribution of 10% of share capital, which is equivalent to 10 fils per share.

Air Arabia added 21 new routes to its global network in 2017 from its five operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. The carrier took delivery of 4 new aircraft and ended the year with a fleet of 50 Airbus A320 aircraft operating to 140 routes across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia said: “Air Arabia has enjoyed consistent and sustained growth in 2017 driven by its network expansion strategy and cost control measures helping us to once again deliver a strong set of results. While political and economic challenges continued to impact the performance of the aviation sector in 2017, we have focused more keenly than ever on ensuring the highest level of operational efficiency and appealing product offering”.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED26 million, an increase of 177% compared to a net loss of AED 33 million registered in the last quarter of 2016.

Update: Emirates rescues Airbus A380 from extinction

Emirates Airlines: Signs of a good year

The Emirates Group announced in November 2017 its half-year results for 2017-18.

The Group saw steady revenue growth and a rebound on profitability compared to the same period last year, in spite of the continuing downward pressure on margins, a rise in oil prices, and other challenges for the airline and travel industry.

The Emirates Group revenue was AED 49.4 billion ($13.5 billion) for the first six months of its 2017-18 financial year, up 6% from AED 46.5 billion ($12.7 billion) during the same period last year.

Profitability rebounded after a low during the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2017-18 half-year net profit of AED 2.3 billion ($631 million), up 77%.

This result was driven by capacity optimisation and efficiency initiatives across the company, steady business growth, and a more favourable foreign exchange situation compared to the same period last year.