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flydubai reports total revenue of AED2.5bn for H1 2017

flydubai announced first half results for 2017, reporting a total revenue of AED2.5bn (USD689mn), an increase of 9.9% compared to the first six months of last year, and a loss of AED142.5mn (USD38.8mn).

Passenger numbers increased to 5.4 million, an increase of 10.5% compared to the first six months of 2016. The number of passengers carried per departure saw an increase of 13.7% for the same period. The increase in passenger numbers reflects the strength of flydubai’s network connecting previously underserved markets to Dubai.  The number of business class passengers carried per departure saw an increase of 22% compared to the same period last year. Revenue passenger kilometre (RPKM) grew by 18.9% while available seat kilometre (ASKM) increased by 7.9% compared to the first six months of 2016.

In addition, flydubai contributed 19.4% to the total growth at Dubai Airports, compared to the first half of 2016. During the first six months of 2017, flydubai contributed 12.4% of all traffic in Dubai.

The demand for travel on flydubai remains strong and the airline has seen its overall market share grow. These factors have, however, been offset by the price performance determined by the market. The airline also faced comparatively higher fuel expenses during the reporting period, with fuel costs accounting for 24.8% of operating costs, compared to 23.5% in the previous reporting period. In addition, the airline added 8 aircrafts to its fleet since July 2016.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said: “The demand for travel from the growing number of our passengers remains strong. We will however continue to manage our cost performance and balance this with our long-term view of the potential for air travel in the region.  We know that we need to remain flexible to the market dynamics across our network. We will continue our disciplined approach to increasing capacity whilst pursuing our broader goal of firmly establishing flydubai at the centre of the global travel industry.”

Arbind Kumar, senior vice president, finance, of flydubai, said: “During the first six months of this year, we have seen pressure on both yield and cost.  We continue to focus our efforts on three key areas: improvement in our cost performance, a broadening of our distribution and optimisation of our network.  Knowing that we have faced a similar seasonality and trend in previous years, we will move ahead cautiously but strong in the knowledge that there remains much untapped opportunity.”

Some of the changes in flydubai’s operations this year that led to its success in the first half of the year included the introduction of next-generation Boeing 737- 800 aircraft in February, and a second aircraft in April; and new routes, which included twice-weekly flights to Sylhet in March, increasing to six flights per week in May, plus flights for the summer season to Batumi in Georgia, Qabala in Azerbaijan, and Tivat in Montenegro.

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