flydubai reported record results for 2022, producing a historic profit of AED 1.2 billion ($327 million). It also inducted a record number of seventeen new aircraft but is still short of capacity, so it turned to wet leasing to add more seats. flydubai reports record-high profit as growth continues.
The AED 1.2 billion net profit compares to AED 841 million in 2021. Revenues were AED 9.1 billion, up from AED 5.3 billion. EBITDAR was 28 percent of total revenues. It doesn’t specify its financial results any further, saying only that fuel costs accounted for 33.9 percent of all expenses compared to 21.9 percent in 2021. Liquidity stood at AED 4.3 billion.
flydubai carried 10.6 million passengers, up from 5.6 million in the previous year. The network grew by sixteen new routes to 114 in total. It saw continued strong demand for flights from Bodrum, Batumi, Dubrovnik, Izmir, Mykonos, Santorini, Tivan and Trabzon. The airline also benefitted from the final months of Expo 2020 Dubai until April last year and from 1.290 Match Day Shuttle Flights between Dubai World Central and Doha for the Football World Cup in the final months of the year.
“We realized early on the great opportunities that Dubai provides and remained focused and ready to scale up our operations once the demand for travel returned. Our resilient financial stance enabled us to maintain positive cash flows and not require the government aid that was available to us during the pandemic. 2022 has been an exceptional year, with accelerated demand, bookended by the final few months of Expo 2020 and the unprecedented efforts to support travel to and from the World Cup in Doha”, said CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith in a media statement.
flydubai and Emirates celebrated the fifth anniversary of their partnership in November. Over the years, this has seen eleven million passengers connect to the networks of the two Dubai-based airlines, which are both state-owned. Ghaith Al Ghaith notes that there has been an increase in the number of passengers that connect from Emirates to flydubai. From 34 percent in 2021, this was 46 percent last year. Expect this to grow further once the codeshare plan between Emirates and United Airlines gets to full speed once regulatory approval has been granted.
The airline said in May last year that it hoped to take delivery of twenty Boeing MAX 8s, but it eventually took ‘only’ seventeen. Still is still the highest number of new deliveries in a single year for flydubai. It has brought the fleet to 39 MAX 8s, three -9s, and 32 737-800s, making 74. Two 737-800s were returned to lessors. To compensate for any shortfalls in capacity, the airline has sourced four aircraft from Smartwings in the last quarter. This year, the carrier hopes to get even more than seventeen MAX 8s.
And it’s not just the fleet that is growing. Flydubai recruited some 1.300 new staff last year and had a workforce of 4.684 at the end of December, which is the highest since 4.080 in 2019. “In 2023 we will continue to invest in new technologies, expand our network and enhance our connectivity through our airline partnerships. To support the growth of the airline, we will continue our ongoing recruitment drive which will support our growing fleet and network”, Ghaith Al Ghaith said.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.