Staying on top amidst financial crisis: Jazeera Airways
Jazeera Airways' chairman Marwan Boodai said that the Kuwaiti low cost carrier has done "exceptionally well in staying on top in the local aviation industry".
Boodai attributed his airline’s success to its “spirit of innovation and service” as well as outlining plans for 2009 growth.
Part of Boodai’s initiative will see the carrier add five new destinations as well as accelerated delivery of two further aircraft. The new Airbus A320s will also support additional route development later in the year.
"The strength of the Jazeera Airways network, which currently includes 55 routes to 22 destinations, lies in our commitment to tight cost control, and the success of our new Dubai hub as a complement to operations in Kuwait has meant that we have established a strong platform for growth in the coming years,” said Boodai.
"The sale and leaseback of our existing fleet and our 40 aircraft delivery positions to Sahaab Leasing has meant that our airline is cash-rich and free of debt, giving us a very strong position going forward, especially now that oil prices have substantially fallen,” he added.
Boodai’s outlook for 2009 is very positive. He said: “We are very excited about the coming year. There is a very strong potential for us to grow our operations in the Middle East, especially with such low market penetration in the low-fare airlines sector of 3-4%.”
Jazeera is targeting a 51% growth for this year and Boodai commented that though the effects of the global economic downturn are unknown, historically, low fare airlines do well in such climates and with the quality of its product and through the improvements it planned for the coming year, he stressed he is confident Jazeera Airways is assured of its position in advance of the upturn in maintaining its competitive leadership.
Jazeera currently operates a fleet of eight Airbus A320s and plans to increase sevices from its Dubai hub. Flight frequencies will increase to 81 in 2009 from 53 last year which corresponds to 13,365 seats in 2009 from 8,735 in 2008 and has a target of 2.5 million passengers for 2009.
Boodai said Jazeera Airways will make a substantial investment in the airline’s commercial infrastructure to make it easier to book flights as well as offering a revised pricing structure that reflects the removal of fuel surcharges with immediate effect. He said that the airline is committed to offer fares at 25% less than legacy competitors.
Boodai added that the airline’s reservation system has been upgraded along with an improved check-in process and expanded sales teams across the airline’s network that will offer passengers an even better experience. Improvements will also be made to its in-flight services.