Home Business & Finance flydubai announces record-breaking 2023 Annual Results

flydubai announces record-breaking 2023 Annual Results

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News Desk

DUBAI: flydubai, the Dubai-based carrier, announced today record-breaking annual results for its financial year ending 31 December 2023, marking the carrier’s strongest-ever performance.

Commenting on the announcement of the airline’s Full-Year Results for 2023, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, said, “in its 15th year of operations, flydubai has emerged as one of the key players in the UAE’s aviation industry and a major contributor to Dubai’s economy. Its solid business model has enabled the carrier to grow exponentially even during challenging times, doubling its operating fleet and expanding its network since the pandemic.

This remarkable achievement has been made possible due to the vision of the UAE’s leadership and the progressive policies of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum which are conducive to the success of the aviation industry and flydubai as a key contributor to the sector.

The decision to accelerate its aircraft deliveries during the pandemic, preserve its workforce and to move forward with its ambitious network expansion plans has proven to be the correct strategy for the carrier resulting in its strongest-ever performance.

I am proud of the work the team has done to achieve these outstanding results, setting the bar even higher for the years to come as flydubai continues to play an intrinsic role in supporting Dubai’s leading position on the global trade, tourism and aviation stage.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on flydubai’s Full-Year Results for 2023, said, “building on the momentum from our previous strong performance, we continued to grow surpassing all pre-pandemic levels to achieve the most profitable year in the history of the airline. The confidence our leadership and key partners have in us has kept us steadfast in our commitment to connect more underserved markets to Dubai and to enable more passengers to travel conveniently more often. More than 108 million passengers have chosen flydubai since our first flight took off in 2009, proving the attractiveness of our offering and the city we carry in our name.

I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of everyone at flydubai which has enabled us to break all our records while keeping our customers at the heart of everything we do.”

Cost and revenue performance

EBITDAR1was reported at 33% of annual revenue.

Closing cash and cash equivalents position: including pre-delivery payments for future aircraft deliveries, is AED 4.8 billion compared to AED 4.3 billion last year.

Fuel cost: continues to be the single highest operating cost for the airline accounting for 32% of total annual operating costs, due to elevated fuel prices. The airline continues to explore fuel hedging options and last year it hedged 12% of its fuel requirement.

Operational performance

Network expansion: flydubai launched 17 routes and ended 2023 with a network of 122 destinations in 52 countries including Ashgabat, Cairo Sphinx, Corfu (seasonal), Kabul, Milan, Mogadishu, Neom, Olbia (seasonal), Poznań, Shymkent and St. Petersburg. The launch of operations to Krabi and Pattaya in Thailand marked flydubai’s return to Southeast Asia.

flydubai carried 13.8 million passengers across its network; an increase of 31% compared to 2022. The carrier recorded an increase of 32% in demand for Business Class in the GCC as well as Central Asia and the Caucasus. flydubai recorded a 56% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers on its GCC network and a 36% increase in Europe.

Fleet size: flydubai took delivery of 13 new aircraft and ended 2023 with 84 aircraft: 29 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 52 Boeing 737 MAX 8, and 03 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. Three Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft were returned to the lessors at the end of their lease term.

flydubai’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft is 14% more fuel efficient than its predecessor and has enabled the airline to reduce its average fuel burn per block hour by 1.3% year-on-year.

Ongoing challenges with the aircraft manufacturer’s delivery schedule have resulted in four fewer aircraft being delivered in 2023. To mitigate the delays in aircraft deliveries and to meet the surge in demand for travel and add capacity, particularly during peak travel periods, flydubai entered another Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) agreement with Smartwings for six wet-leased aircraft.

At the Dubai Airshow 2023, flydubai placed a USD 11 billion order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to be delivered from 2026. This marked the airline’s first wide-body order, diversifying its current fleet of all-Boeing 737 aircraft.

Codeshare partnership with Emirates: in its sixth year, Emirates and flydubai’s strategic partnership has enabled more than 3.7 million passengers in 2023 to enjoy seamless connectivity across the joint network of 222 destinations.

Recruitment: flydubai’s workforce reached 5,545 employees with more than 1,000 new colleagues joining in 2023 across various departments, 73% of the new joiners were pilots, cabin crew and engineers to support the airline’s growing fleet and network. The carrier more than doubled the number of UAE Nationals in its workforce, attracting more skilled young UAE Nationals to join its cadet, engineering and work placement programmes across the business.

Key performance and operational figures

Key performance figures for:Reporting period for 
​31-Dec-23
Total annual revenue AED 11.2 billion (USD 3 billion)
Total annual profit AED 2.1 billion (USD 572 million)
Total cash assets, including pre-delivery paymentsAED 4.8 billion
RPKM2 (% growth)29.7%
ASKM3 (million)40,292 (27% increase compared to 2022)
Passenger numbers13.8 million (31% increase compared to 2022)
Fuel costs 
​% Of total annual operating costs
32%
Fleet size84 
Average aircraft age4.5 years
Total number of departures107,862 (24% increase compared to 2022)
Total number of employees5,545
Total number of destinations122

Outlook statement for 2024

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the outlook for 2024, said, “we are dedicated to supporting the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to solidify its position as one of the world’s top three cities for tourism and business over the next decade. We will continue with our strategic network development plans that will see more destinations join the flydubai network this year starting with the five new routes announced since the start of 2024 including Basel, Riga, Sochi, Tallinn and Vilnius.

Additionally, we will take delivery of 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft allowing us to add capacity on existing routes as demand for travel across our network returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Looking ahead, we are renewing our commitment to further enhancing our customer experience and providing the right product at the right time. This year will see more investment in technologies across the business and the retrofitting of our fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to provide a more cohesive customer experience.

Since our inception, efficiency and sustainability have been core values for flydubai. We are committed to supporting the UAE’s plans to achieve net zero by 2050 and this year we will continue to identify areas across the business to enhance our sustainability efforts complementing the fuel and carbon emissions reduction that our fleet of Boeing 737 MAXs provides.

flydubai’s agility, forward planning, as well as its strong financial position, make us well positioned to successfully navigate through persisting challenges including elevated fuel prices, disruption to the industry’s supply chains, rising global inflation, softening yield margins and ongoing geopolitical uncertainties.

Our commitment to innovation, operational efficiency and customer-centricity will remain the focal points in the coming years as we lay the foundations for another chapter of our journey marked by the arrival of the first wide-body aircraft from 2026.”

1Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortisation and Rent

2RPKM: Revenue Passenger Kilometre

3ASKM: Available Seat Kilometre

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