flydubai’s total revenue for the year 2017 hit Dh5.5 billion ($1.49 billion), jumping 9.2% compared to the same period in 2015, with profits reaching Dh37.3 million ($10.1 million).
The airline also recorded a 5.5% increase in passenger numbers last year, carrying 10.9 million passengers over a 12-month period compared to 10.04 million passengers in 2016.
Commenting on the airline’s results for 2017, 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.”
With up to 295 aircraft on order, flydubai becomes one of the world’s top ten airlines in terms of order backlog.
Commenting on the expanded codeshare announced last year, Sheikh Ahmed said: “In its early stages, the partnership with Emirates has enjoyed a significant response from passengers who recognize 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. Despite the socio-economic environment we have seen across our network, we have record numbers of passengers travelling with us as well as sustained growth in our revenue.”
“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. We know how important aviation is to the business landscape and we remain confident about the road ahead.” Al Ghaith added.
Looking ahead, flydubai has announced the launch of 10 routes which will start operations during the first six months of 2018 and will further enhance connectivity across its network.
The airline will take delivery of seven aircraft during the course of the year. In line with its strategy to maintain a young and efficient fleet, these aircraft will support flydubai’s continued growth as well as replace four aircraft in the fleet which will be retired. Positive feedback has been received by customers following the introduction of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft into the fleet. The airline will take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. These aircraft will bring more efficiencies to the fleet as they become available on more routes.
Although the operational climate has remained challenging, flydubai is cautiously optimistic about 2018. Furthermore, its partnership with Emirates, which has already been well received by passengers, will create additional opportunities. Its strategy to open up previously underserved routes, the creation of new direct airlinks, its efficient and flexible business model will ensure flydubai is best positioned for the year ahead.