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flydubai profits surge on solid business fundamentals and increased passenger demand

Annual Results for 2021

  • flydubai has today, 07 March 2022, announced its Annual Results for the year ending 31 December 2021
  • Reports a profit of AED 841 million (USD 229 million)
  • Reports total annual revenue of AED 5.3 billion (USD 1,434 million) compared to AED 2.8 billion (USD 773 million) in 2020; an increase of 86%
  • Carries 5.6 million passengers; an increase of 76% compared to 2020
  • Overall seat factor of 69%

Statements on the 2021 Annual Results

Commenting on the announcement of the airline’s Full-Year Results for 2021, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, said: 

“The tremendous results flydubai is reporting for 2021 come after a very challenging two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The decisions taken by the UAE’s leadership, which saw the implementation of the precautionary safety measures throughout the customer journey, gave visitors the confidence to travel to Dubai; resulting in a 76% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.  We remain well placed to continue to welcome passengers across our network to Dubai and beyond.  flydubai is intrinsic to Dubai’s travel and tourism industry.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on flydubai’s 2021 Annual Results, said:

“flydubai’s business model remains strong and has served us well through the pandemic.  As demand returned these strong fundamentals have translated into a significant improvement in our financial performance.  This achievement has been made possible by the commitment of our hardworking employees combined with our business agility.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the travel restrictions that were in place across its network, said:

“A challenge that remained throughout 2021 was the constant changes to the travel restrictions.  This meant that passengers did not have the confidence to book travel early, however they continued to travel with a shorter booking window ahead of their date of travel.  During the second half of the year, travel restrictions began to ease which led to an increase in demand for travel across our network.  We launched flights to seasonal summer destinations to offer more options for passengers and the increase in our flight schedule in the second half of the year supported the demand for inbound travel to Dubai.”

Key highlights for the year ending 31 December 2021 contributing to flydubai’s recovery since the peak of the pandemic

  • 22 new routes were launched in 2021, 13 of which were unserved destinations from Dubai
  • The top 10 busiest routes for scheduled flights across the flydubai network were Alexandria (HBE), Bahrain (BAH), Bucharest (OTP), Doha (DOH), Karachi (KHI), Kathmandu (KTM), Male’ (MLE), Tbilisi (TBS), Tel Aviv (TLV) and Zanzibar (ZNZ)
  • To meet the demand for travel over the summer, the airline launched flights to five destinations for the summer season: Batumi (BUS), Bodrum (BJV), Mykonos (JMK), Santorini (JTR) and Trabzon (TZX)
  • With the easing of the travel restrictions around the network, flydubai has seen an increase in the demand for travel. In January 2020, flydubai operated 5,701 flights. The number of flights surpassed pre-pandemic levels in December 2021 when the airline operated 6,430 flights
  • flydubai has seen an increase in demand for connecting traffic with 34% of passengers connecting on to the flydubai network or through its codeshare with Emirates
  • Demand for Business Class increased in the following regions on the flydubai network:
    • The GCC saw an increase of 42% in 2021 up from 35% in 2019
    • Europe saw an increase of 51% in 2021 up from 41% in 2019
    • Africa saw an increase of 42% in 2021 up from 35% in 2019
  • The fleet expanded to 59 aircraft including 34 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 22 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 3 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft
  • The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft rejoined the airline’s fleet from April which were maintained in active storage to facilitate a seamless return to service 
  • flydubai will continue to operate a mixed fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
  • In July, flydubai reached an agreement with Boeing and the airline has adjusted its aircraft orders which had been placed in 2013 and 2017.  flydubai revised down the total number of aircraft it will receive by 65 aircraft.  As at 31 December, 25 aircraft had been received from its orders with 161 aircraft due for delivery
  • flydubai completed the financing requirements for 13 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and two LEAP-1B engines by sale and leaseback to support aircraft deliveries during 2021
  • flydubai moved into its new Campus in April bringing its team together and creating a greener and sustainable working environment with a LEED certification. The Campus includes a Training Centre for its crew
  • Since the airline’s extended codeshare partnership with Emirates was launched in 2017, more than 8.3 million passengers have enjoyed seamless connectivity across the joint network

Outlook statement for 2022

The airline’s strategy for the year ahead is to contribute to the rebuilding of the travel sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.  From March 2022, flydubai will take delivery of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which will see further deployment of its onboard product and support the airline’s future growth.  These aircraft will be deployed across the network to provide customers with the opportunity to travel to more places, more often.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the outlook for 2022, said:

“With the lifting of restrictions across our network and increasing demand for travel, we are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead notwithstanding the geopolitical situation and its potential effect on the pricing of commodities.”

“During 2022, we will see the largest number of aircraft delivered in any year since the launch of the airline.  As the momentum for travel continues to build, we will increase frequencies and introduce new destinations on our network during 2022.  To support this growth trajectory, we will need to recruit the best people in the industry willing to contribute to flydubai’s continued success story.”

About flydubai

From its home in Dubai, flydubai has created a network of more than 125 destinations served by a fleet of 86 aircraft. Since commencing operations in June 2009, flydubai has been committed to removing barriers to travel, creating free flows of trade and tourism and enhancing connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network.

flydubai has marked its journey with a number of milestones:

An expanding network: Created a network of more than 125 destinations in 58 countries across Africa, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Central and South-East Europe, the GCC and the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and South-East Asia.

Serving underserved markets: Opened more than 90 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.

An efficient single fleet-type: Operates a single fleet-type of 86 Boeing 737 aircraft and includes: 29 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 54 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 03 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

Enhancing connectivity: Carried more than 100 million passengers since it began operations in 2009.


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