FlyDubai ends 2018 with $43.5m loss

FlyDubai began operations nearly 10 years ago and flies to over 90 destinations. (Reuters)
Updated 20 February 2019

FlyDubai ends 2018 with $43.5m loss

  • FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al-Ghaith: In line with expectations, 2018 was a challenging year, however we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue
  • The carrier flew 11 million passengers last year, slightly up from the 10.9 million it flew in 2017

DUBAI: The Dubai government-owned budget carrier FlyDubai said on Wednesday that its revenues increased to $1.7 billion in 2018, though the airline ended the year with a loss of $43.5 million.
The airline that flies out of both Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport blamed fuel costs, rising interest rates and “unfavorable currency exchange movements” for the loss. It had made $1.5 billion in revenue in 2017, earning a narrow profit of $10 million that year. “In line with expectations, 2018 was a challenging year, however we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue,” FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al-Ghaith said.
FlyDubai, which now has a code-share deal and tighter relationship with Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates, offers bargain flights to locations both served and not by its well-known elder sibling. FlyDubai began operations nearly 10 years ago and its 4,000 staff now serve over 90 destinations.
The carrier flew 11 million passengers last year, slightly up from the 10.9 million it flew in 2017.


Saudi Arabia looks to cut spending in bid to shrink deficit

Updated 25 min 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia looks to cut spending in bid to shrink deficit

  • Saudi Arabia has issued about SR84 billion in sukuk in the year to date

LONDON: Saudi Arabia plans to reduce spending next year by about 7.5 percent to SR990 billion ($263.9 billion) as it seeks to reduce its deficit. This compares to spending of SR1.07 trillion this year, it said in a preliminary budget statement.

The Kingdom anticipates a budget deficit of about 12 percent this year falling to 5.1 percent next year.

Saudi Arabia released data on Wednesday showing that the economy contracted by about 7 percent in the second quarter as regional economies faced the twin blow of the coronavirus pandemic and continued oil price weakness.

The unemployment rate among Saudis increased to 15.4 percent in the second quarter compared with 11.8 percent in the first quarter of the year.

The challenging headwinds facing regional economies is expected to spur activity across debt markets as countries sell bonds to help fund spending.

Saudi Arabia has already issued about SR84 billion in sukuk in the year to date.

“Over the past three years, the government has developed (from scratch) a well-functioning and increasingly deeper domestic sukuk market that has allowed it to tap into growing domestic and international demand for Shariah-compliant fixed income assets,” Moody’s said in a statement on Wednesday. 

“This, in turn, has helped diversify its funding sources compared with what was available during the oil price shock of 2015-16 and ease liquidity pressures amid a more than doubling of government financing needs this year,” the ratings agency added.