- Plans to continue expanding in the Middle East, Asia and Europe
- Positive outlook for travel industry starting Q4 2021
Kuwait, April 21, 2021: Jazeera Airways today held its annual general meeting (AGM), approving the company’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020 and discussed other regulatory matters on the agenda.
Speaking to shareholders, Chairman Marwan Boodai reiterated that Jazeera’s flexible business model has proved once again its success in adapting to times of crisis to protect its customers, employees and shareholders’ value. He said: “We were able to reallocate our resources to support our local community and economy in a commitment to our role as a Kuwaiti national carrier, served our customers when government regulations permitted and continued to commit to our obligations.”
During 2020, which was qualified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as the “Worst Year in History for Air Travel Demand”, flights were suspended at Kuwait International Airport for close to six months from March 13 and extremely restricted for the rest of the year at Kuwait International for most of the year.
While the airline postponed some of its expansion plans as it overcame the COVID-19 restrictions, Jazeera placed its resources to serve local efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to focusing on connecting flights between points that have high demand and were underserved. The airline also started full-cargo flights and continued to work on its future expansion plans once travel traffic returns.
The airline ended the year with a healthy asset base and a very strong unrestricted cash balance, which stood at KD19.7 million by the end of the 2020 financial year. During the year, Jazeera managed to contain its monthly cash burn at the level KD1.0 million, enabling it to weather the prolonged challenging conditions even under the more restrictive operating environment since the beginning of 2021. Last week, the company’s Board of Directors recommended a capital increase as a precautionary step as operations remain constrained by the prolonged closure of Kuwait International Airport.
Boodai added: “2020 was specifically exceptional in Kuwait with very strict restrictions and a conservative approach to fighting the pandemic when compared to neighboring countries and the situation of other Low-Cost Carriers in the world. With the start of 2021, these restrictions continue, challenging growth in the first half of the year.
Boodai affirmed that demand for travel will always exist. He said: “With the Government of Kuwait taking bold steps to vaccinating its people, as well as vaccines rolling out worldwide and airports easing restrictions, we expect travel to gradually return to its pre-2019 levels by the fourth quarter. We are very optimistic for the year 2022.”
IATA’s baseline for 2021 is for a 50.4% improvement on 2020 demand that would bring the industry to 50.6% of 2019 levels. These figures are based on global performance.
Boodai concluded: “We are ready to serve our customers once again. Our pilots, crew members and supporting teams have taken their vaccines. Our aircraft and Terminal 5 follow strict hygiene and safety rules. We continue to take delivery of new aircraft on order to support the expansion plans.”