Dubai-based carrier flydubai has declared historic profits of Dhs1.2 billion for the year ending December 31, 2022, which marks a 43 per cent year-on-year increase.

It added that its annual revenue for the year stood at Dhs9.1 billion, up 72 per cent over the previous year.

Fuel remained the airline’s single highest operating cost accounting for 33.9 per cent of its total annual operating costs.

The carrier took delivery of 17 new aircraft in 2022. It grew its fleet by 25 per cent compared to the previous year, and ended 2022 with 74 aircraft: 32 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 39 Boeing 737 MAX 8, and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. Two Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft were also returned to the lessors at the end of their operating lease.

During the year, flydubai also secured financing for 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and three LEAP-1B engines through a combination of sale and leaseback and commercial debt financing.

Over the course of 2022, the airline also carried 10.6 million passengers, which is a 89 per cent rise over 2021. It said that it witnessed an increase in demand for connecting traffic, with 46 per cent of passengers connecting to the flydubai network through its codeshare with Emirates, compared to 34 per cent in 2021.

Flydubai also launched 16 routes in 2022 and ended the year with a network of 114 destinations.

Operationally, the airline undertook its biggest recruitment drive ever in any single year. It said that 1,300 employees joined flydubai in 2022, 80 per cent of whom are cabin crew, engineers or pilots.

“Flydubai’s second consecutive year of profitability since the start of the pandemic is testament to the exceptional contribution of its skilled team and the positive environment we operate in,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at flydubai, added, “We have invested in aircraft that reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions and this year we are set to take delivery of more than 17 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. We remain committed to investing in product developments which will see a comprehensive retrofit programme across our fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and the introduction of a new cabin product on our Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.”