FlyDubai announces record profit as Gulf air travel booms

Budget carrier FlyDubai announced record profits on Wednesday, benefitting from a surge in air travel following the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

The state-owned carrier, based in the business and tourism hub of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, reported $327 million in profit in 2022, up 43 percent from the previous year. Annual revenue for 2022 was up 72 percent, to $2.5 billion, it said.

“We realized early on the great opportunities that Dubai provides and remained focused and ready to scale up our operations once the demand for travel returned,” Ghaith al-Ghaith, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Traffic more than doubled last year at Dubai’s airport, the busiest in the world for international travel, but still lags a record set in 2019 before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

FlyDubai said it carried 10.6 million passengers in 2022, up 89 percent from the previous year. The sister airline to long-haul carrier Emirates has also ramped up capacity, with the delivery of 17 new aircraft and the hiring of some 1,300 employees over the past year, it said.

In 2020, FlyDubai had reported losses of $194 million.

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