MIAMI – Jazeera Airways (J9) held its virtual ordinary and extraordinary annual general meeting (AGM and EGM) on June 22, subsequently approving the audited accounts for the financial year ending December 31.

Speaking via a conference call to shareholders, Chairman Marwan Boodai said, “As we review another record year for Jazeera Airways, the world is witnessing a pandemic that has affected the aviation industry with flights being suspended in countries around the world since March 2020.”

Photo: Wiki Commons.

Jazeera in the last 2 years

During 2018, J9 expanded into the Indian market, which has satisfied the market demand. In 2019, Jazeera also hit a significant milestone with its service to London Gatwick (LGW) using Airbus A320 NEO aircraft.

The new service was the first Low-Cost Carrier based in the Middle East to serve the UK.

Outside of passengers using the new route to get to Kuwait, J9 has also seen passengers using the flight to connect onwards into its route network, to its wider route network, the Indian subcontinent, and Gulf countries the airline highlights in particular.

Photo: Wiki Commons.

Jazeera grows its footprint

Chairman Marwan Boodai said, “During 2019, our airline continued to deliver on its growth plan, strengthening the foundations that have time and again enabled our airline to overcome past crises, and ending the year with the best set of operating results in the airline’s history.”

“Jazeera Airways continued to grow and expand its footprint in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. The expansion was supported by growth in its fleet with the delivery of three new Airbus A320neo aircraft as well as growing operations at Jazeera Terminal T5 at Kuwait International Airport,” continued the chairman.

Expansions in India and the Middle East

Alongside LGW, Jazeera also expanded to Kathamandu, the capital of Nepal, Karachi, Pakistan, Damman, Saudi and Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

Jazeera markets Kathmandu, Osh, and Karachi as leisure routes, including onward connections for religious pilgrimage.

In the Middle Eastern leisure routes, Jazeera also added Instanbul to their route network, serving Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

The new operation links the Turkish airport with Al Ain, the UAE’s family leisure destination.

Photo: Wiki Commons.

Jazeera shareholders dividends update

In addition to the updated route network, the shareholders approved a new article, entitling shareholders to dividends. The full article reads:

“Subject to the provisions contained in the Company Contract, the ordinary general assembly meeting, upon the proposal of the board of directors, may distribute dividends to shareholders at the end of the financial year or at the end of each financial period.”

“Such distribution shall be valid if the profits are real and if these are made in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles and do not affect the paid-up capital of the company.”

However, Boodai said that as a private sector company, the airline was taking full responsibility to ensure its business continuity, adding:

“Therefore, we have implemented decisive measures to safeguard our financial position caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including the suspension of the 2019 dividend payment and activating the drawdown of bank facilities that were not previously tapped to support Jazeera’s ongoing liquidity through the coming months.”

Photo: Wiki Commons.

More network expansions on hold

Jazeera was due to continue expanding their route network throughout 2020 and further establish themselves as a leading LCC. However, Jazeera has put the plans on hold and is now taking a more conservative route to weather the COVID-19 storm.

As we’ve already seen with other carriers, J9’s fleet is available for full cargo flights for produce and goods which may be needed. They have also opened their fleet to the State of Kuwait to repatriate Kuwaiti residents.

Marwan Boodai concluding remarks

“In the past 15 years, we’ve weathered through many macro and micro-economic challenges, from a global financial crisis, a recession, geopolitical challenges in a number of the countries we serve, oil fluctuations, and regional overcapacity in a highly competitive environment driven by government-back airlines.”

“We have confidence that Jazeera Airways will once again come out stronger from this crisis.”

“Our goal by the end of 2020 is not the bottom line, but our readiness for the following year, the year 2021. Until then, Jazeera Airways has a strong balance sheet and financial reserves enabling it to withstand difficult conditions for 27 months.”

The virtual meeting was enabled by Boursa Kuwait and Kuwait Clearing Company.