Flydubai hires 1,000 new employees as it posts record Dh2.1 billion profit

73% of the new recruits were pilots, cabin crew and engineers to support the airline’s growing fleet and network


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 22 Feb 2024, 2:53 PM

Last updated: Thu 22 Feb 2024, 10:50 PM

Flydubai on Thursday said its 2023 profits jumped 75 per cent to a record Dh2.1 billion on the back of strong organic growth amidst strong growth in the aviation industry.

The Dubai-based carrier reported total annual revenue of Dh11.2 billion in 2023 as compared to Dh9.1 billion in 2022; an increase of 23 per cent.

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Flydubai’s workforce reached 5,545 with more than 1,000 new employees joining in 2023 across various departments. Around 73 per cent of the new recruits were pilots, cabin crew and engineers to support the airline’s growing fleet and network. The carrier more than doubled the number of UAE Nationals in its workforce.

The UAE’s aviation has been one of the main growth drivers of the economy in the post-pandemic. In November Emirates airline also announced a record Dh10.1 billion profit for the first half of 2023, a jump of 138 per cent.

It carried 13.8 million passengers across its network; an increase of 31 per cent compared to 2022. It saw an increase of 32 per cent in demand for Business Class in the GCC as well as Central Asia and the Caucasus. Flydubai recorded a 56 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger numbers on its GCC network and a 36 per cent increase in Europe.

Flydubai launched 17 routes and ended 2023 with a network of 122 destinations in 52 countries.

The local airline took delivery of 13 new aircraft and ended 2023 with 84 aircraft: 29 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 52 Boeing 737 MAX 8, and 03 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. Three Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft were returned to the lessors at the end of their lease term.

At the Dubai Airshow 2023, Flydubai placed a $11 billion order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to be delivered from 2026. This marked the airline’s first wide-body order, diversifying its current fleet of all-Boeing 737 aircraft.

It said fuel cost continued to be the single highest operating cost for the airline, accounting for 32 per cent of total annual operating costs, due to elevated fuel prices.

Delay in deliveries

The airline said that ongoing challenges with the aircraft manufacturer’s delivery schedule have resulted in four fewer aircraft being delivered in 2023. To mitigate the delays in aircraft deliveries and to meet the surge in demand for travel and add capacity, particularly during peak travel periods, flydubai entered another Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) agreement with Smartwings for six wet-leased aircraft.

“Flydubai has emerged as one of the key players in the UAE’s aviation industry and a major contributor to Dubai’s economy. Its solid business model has enabled the carrier to grow exponentially even during challenging times, doubling its operating fleet and expanding its network since the pandemic,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai.

“The decision to accelerate its aircraft deliveries during the pandemic, preserve its workforce and move forward with its ambitious network expansion plans has proven to be the correct strategy for the carrier resulting in its strongest-ever performance,” he said.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said the airline continued to grow surpassing all pre-pandemic levels to achieve the most profitable year in the history of the airline.


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