Kuwait Airways expecting 4x passenger rise in 2022 than 2021: CEO

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Updated 26 June 2022

Kuwait Airways expecting 4x passenger rise in 2022 than 2021: CEO

Kuwait Airways expecting 4x passenger rise in 2022 than 2021: CEO

DOHA: Kuwait Airways is expecting a fourfold passenger rise in 2022 when compared to 2021, as the aviation industry is strongly rebounding post the pandemic, said its CEO Maen Mahmoud Razouqi.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association Annual General Meeting in Doha, he revealed that the passenger flow in Kuwait Airways has exceeded expectations in the first quarter, and he expects a strong rise in Q2 as well.
Razouqi, however, did not reveal the exact numbers of travelers who flew on Kuwait Airways in the first quarter.
“We have seen a great pickup in our activities. So our Q1 performance exceeded expectations and we are very hopeful that Q2 will even be better. Expectations for the year are not necessarily as close as 2019. But it is definitely in the range of four times what was in 2021,” Razouqi told Arab News.
He added: “Our focus remains on the customer services. We are here to produce and offer a product that our customers will distinguish the performance of Kuwait Airways.”

Our Q1 performance exceeded expectations and we are very hopeful that Q2 will even be better.

Maen Mahmoud Razouqi


Razouqi further noted that Kuwait Airways is also vulnerable to the negative impacts of jet fuel hikes, even though it is a leading oil producer.
“We are lucky to be an oil producer. But we are also vulnerable to the fact that oil prices and jet fuel rate is increasing. In some places, we see it at the maximum increased rate of 93 percent. But in some others, we’re also seeing it in the range of 50 percent. So we will adjust to it,” added Razouqi. 

He pointed out that Kuwait Airways is also working to reduce emissions. It should be noted that IATA has recently launched its CO2 Connect, an online tool which provides the most accurate carbon dioxide emission calculations for any given commercial passenger flight, as it aims to achieve net-zero by 2050.
Talking about sustainable aviation fuel, Razouqi made it clear that Kuwait Airways is exploring all the ways to reduce consumption, which will ensure sustainability, and finally the ultimate goal of net-zero.
The CEO revealed that Kuwait Airways now has 56 direct routes, and 17 new routes will be introduced in the summer, which include destinations like the US and Spain, along with Greece’s Mykonos, Bosnia’s Sarajevo and Morocco’s Casablanca.
With regard to Kuwait Airways’ fleet expansion, Razouqi said, “We announced our new deal with Airbus in February that consisted of 31 planes ... Some of them have already been delivered and we should see the completion of the delivery by 2026.”
He also pointed out that Kuwait Airways will add a number of aircraft to its fleet this year itself, and the ultimate aim is to elevate the number of aircraft in its arsenal to 60 by the end of this year.

 


Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 

Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 
Updated 9 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 

Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 

RIYADH: Oil prices dipped in Asia trade on Thursday as uncertainty lingered ahead of Sunday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, though easing COVID-19 curbs at the world’s top crude importer China capped price declines. 

Brent crude futures fell 25 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $86.72 per barrel by 0430 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures eased 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $80.38. 

US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices as EU debates price cap 

The Biden administration broke its silence on Wednesday on EU deliberations over a $65-70 per barrel Russian oil price cap on Wednesday, warning far-lower prices cited for some Russian Urals crude shipments should be approached with caution. 

A US official told Reuters that recently quoted Urals prices in the $52-a-barrel range do not represent broader pricing in a very opaque market. 

The US Treasury has remained silent over the past week as EU diplomats have struggled to reach a consensus on a price cap level initially proposed in the $65-70 a barrel range. 

Some countries including Poland, Lithuania and Estonia have pushed for a far lower $30-a-barrel price limit, arguing this is closer to Russia’s cost of production and that the West needs to squeeze Moscow’s revenues harder. 

But the US official’s comments, which signal growing concern over the EU deliberations, come just five days before an embargo on Russian crude imports is set to be phased in. 

Lower quoted market prices could erode support for a cap in the $60-70 range. The US official cited concerns over using prices that represent a subset of Russian oil sales. 

Economic headwinds set to push oil below $100 in 2023: Poll 

Brent oil prices will hold above the $100 level for the rest of 2022 as an impending EU ban on Russian oil sparks uncertainty over supply, but will tick lower next year as economic concerns prevail, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. 

A survey of 38 economists and analysts forecast benchmark Brent crude would average $100.50 a barrel this year, and $93.65 in 2023, slightly lower than October’s $101.10 and $95.74 consensus, respectively. 

US crude was forecast to average $95.56 a barrel in 2022 and $87.80 next year. 

(With input from Reuters) 

 


Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power

Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power
Updated 37 min 57 sec ago

Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power

Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power

DUBAI: Egypt has sealed an agreement with AMEA Power a $1.1 billion agreement for a solar project and a wind farm with a combined capacity of about 1 gigawatt (GW).

The Emirati renewable energy company will build, own and operate a 500-megawatt solar facility in Aswan governorate of Egypt and a 500MW wind farm at the Red Sea governorate. The wind farm will be developed in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation, who will own 40 percent equity in the project. The solar plant, meanwhile, is being financed by International Finance Corporation, Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The projects will boost the renewable energy ambitions of Egypt, along with supporting economic and social development within the region, a report from state news agency WAM said.

Cairo is aiming to source electricity from renewable energy platforms by as much as 42 percent by 2035.

Construction of both projects will commence this month, with completion of the solar plant expected after 18 months and of the wind farm after 30 months.


King Abdulaziz Port welcomes first ever Grimaldi car carrier

King Abdulaziz Port welcomes first ever Grimaldi car carrier
Updated 30 November 2022

King Abdulaziz Port welcomes first ever Grimaldi car carrier

King Abdulaziz Port welcomes first ever Grimaldi car carrier

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, or Mawani, has announced the arrival of MSC Cristiana, a 4,250-vehicle car carrier owned by automobile shipping giant Grimaldi Group, at Dammam’s King Abdulaziz Port from the Chinese port of MCID.

With major shipping lines sailing toward Saudi waters, the national maritime regulator has scaled yet another milestone as it looks to boost the Kingdom’s liner connectivity with the rest of the world. It also seeks to reinforce its presence as a competitive force on the global scale while bolstering national economic growth and foreign trade in line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy.

King Abdulaziz Port is a highly rated trade and investment hub in the Arabian Gulf, thanks to its close proximity to Jubail’s ports and industrial complex as well as its rail linkages to Riyadh Dry Port and the Saudi railway network.

With its suite of world-class operating capabilities and best-in-class infrastructure, which includes 43 berths, the port was ranked 14th in the World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index for 2021.

The port has recently added a series of new shipping services to its roster, including the Jebel Ali Bahrain Shuwaikh Service by the Emirates Shipping Line, the Far East to Middle East service by Sea Lead Shipping in partnership with Saudi Global Ports, and the Gulf-India Express 2 service by Aladin Express. These are in addition to the latest expansion of the Gulf China Service by Pacific International Lines through the introduction of Shanghai and Singapore as new ports of call.

The shipping services lend their part in enabling a greater market capture of the regional maritime freight market while at the same time positioning King Abdulaziz Port as a global destination.


TASI closes on a positive note, gains 144 points

TASI closes on a positive note, gains 144 points
Updated 30 November 2022

TASI closes on a positive note, gains 144 points

TASI closes on a positive note, gains 144 points

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained ground on Wednesday, with 148 of the 219 listed companies closing higher as investors came in droves to kick-start a bull run.

The Tadawul All Share Index added 142 points to close at 10,896.91, while the parallel market Nomu soared 473 points to finish at 18,866.

The total trading turnover closed at SR8 billion ($2.13 billion), an encouraging figure from the SR2.58 billion clocked on Sunday.

Saudi utility major ACWA Power announced that it signed a power purchase agreement with the Water and Electricity Holding Co. to develop the largest solar photovoltaic plant in the Middle East.

Based in Makkah, the 2,060-megawatt project will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2025 and is expected to power 350,000 homes.

The news led to a flurry among investors to purchase the shares, leading to a 4.32 percent increase in share price while closing at SR140.20.

Saudi Arabian food delivery app Jahez announced a share purchase agreement to acquire 134,620 shares in The Chefz SPV Ltd., representing a 100 percent stake, for SR325 million. The share price closed 12 points higher to SR602.

Saudi Telecom Co. revealed the repurchase of 11.59 million shares for SR453 million at an average price of SR39.16 to facilitate its employee stock incentive plan. The stock opened at SR38.10 and closed at SR38.45, up 1.1 percent.

The stock exchange also witnessed a slew of dividends and bonus shares that steamed up the market.

Healthcare player Al Hammadi Holding on Tuesday recommended a 3.5 percent cash dividend of SR0.35 per share for the fourth quarter this year, amounting to a total of SR56 million. Its share barely inched up to close at SR42.

Nafiyat Finance Co. also recommended a 20 percent increase in capital through a bonus issue of one-for-five shares, leading to a marginal increase in its share price, which closed at SR20.70.

International Human Resources Co.’s shareholders approved a recommendation to distribute cash dividends at 7.5 percent of the company’s capital, or SR0.75 per share, for the first half of 2022. The share price gained 3 percent to close at SR64.

The topmost grosser of the day was Dallah Healthcare Co., with its share price increasing 9.8 percent to end at SR173.60.

Other companies reigning the market included the National Company for Learning and Education, Amlak International for Real Estate Finance Co., Arabian Internet and Communications Services Co. and Almasane Alkobra Mining Co, which clocked on average a 7.54 percent increase.

The top losers were Tourism Enterprise Co., Jadwa REIT Saudi Fund, Riyad REIT Fund, Yanbu Cement Co. and Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co.


Middle East carriers see 15% fall in air cargo volumes in October: IATA

Middle East carriers see 15% fall in air cargo volumes in October: IATA
Updated 30 November 2022

Middle East carriers see 15% fall in air cargo volumes in October: IATA

Middle East carriers see 15% fall in air cargo volumes in October: IATA

RIYADH: Economic headwinds across the globe continued to affect air cargo demand in October, as Middle Eastern carriers witnessed a 15 percent fall in air cargo volumes compared to the same period last year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The October report from the organization, which represents some 290 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic, revealed the impact of the economic headwinds on the aviation sector could even follow into 2023.

“Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience as headwinds persist. Cargo demand in October — while tracking below the exceptional performance of October 2021 — saw a 3.5 percent increase in demand compared to September. This indicates that the year-end will still bring a traditional peak-season boost despite economic uncertainties,” said IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh. 

He added: “As 2022 closes out it appears that the current economic uncertainties will follow into the New Year and need continued close monitoring.” 

In October 2022, air cargo volumes in Asia-Pacific airlines decreased by 14.7 percent compared to the same month in 2021. 

The report noted that the fall of air cargo volumes in the Asia Pacific was impacted by conflict in Europe, and lower levels of trade and manufacturing activity due to omicron-related restrictions in China

North American carriers posted an 8.6 percent decrease in cargo volumes in October 2022, while European carriers saw an 18.8 percent decrease compared to the same month last year, primarily due to the war in Ukraine and high inflation levels. 

Latin American and African carriers also witnessed a fall in cargo volumes by 1.4 percent and 8.3 percent over the same period.

The report also suggested that the global demand for air cargo measured in cargo ton-kilometers fell 13.6 percent in October 2022 from the same month last year. 

“Capacity was 0.6 percent below October 2021. This was the first year-on-year contraction since April 2022, however, month-on-month capacity increased by 2.4 percent in preparation for the year-end peak season,” said IATA in the report. 

International cargo capacity grew 2.4 percent in October 2022, compared to the same month in the previous year.