Jazeera Airways today announced its earnings for the first half of 2020, which were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flights at Kuwait International Airport were suspended for close to five months, from March 13 to July 31, while operations resumed on August 1 with limited capacity and a mandated 14-day quarantine for all incoming passengers.
“2020 is without a doubt an exceptional year, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every sector of the economy and, to the largest extent, the travel and tourism sector worldwide,” chairman, Jazeera Airways, Marwan Boodai commented. “We have taken full responsibility to ensure our business continuity as a private company at a very early stage of the pandemic. We implemented immediate decisive measures to safeguard our financial position and liquidity including the suspension of the 2019 dividend payment, activating the drawdown of bank facilities that were not previously tapped and renegotiating cost structures with our suppliers.”
Jazeera Airways ended the period with a cash balance of $91.2 million. Operating revenue for H1 2020 was $87.3 million and the net loss was $32.4 million. The total number of passengers flown was 540,277, which includes passengers of scheduled commercial flights from January 1 to March 12, as well as passengers of expatriation flights during the suspension period. Operationally, the airline registered $16.02 million in operating loss and a load factor of 68.3 per cent.
During the suspension of commercial flights, the airline redirected its capacity and capabilities to operating full-cargo and charter flights as well as supporting government efforts during the pandemic, mainly with the repatriation of Kuwaiti nationals.
CEO, Jazeera Airways, Rohit Ramachandran said: “Our team did a phenomenal job at operating the cargo flights. They learnt the cargo business and received the necessary certification from the Kuwait Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Airbus. Within two weeks, we were already transporting necessary produce and goods and successfully transported over 1,600 tonnes of goods by the end of June.”