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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) Ali Al-Dukhan revealed that KAC acquired Terminal 4 of the Kuwait International Airport, which was renting it for one million dinars annually. This would reflect positively on the company’s profits starting next year and enhance its operational performance, reports Al-Qabas daily. During a recent press conference held by the company in the presence of its CEO Maan Razzouqi and a number of members of the Board of Directors, Al-Dukhan explained that the company achieved an increase in its revenues by ten percent in 2022 compared to 2019, and 115 percent compared to 2021. The profitability margin improved to 40 percent in 2022 compared to 2019, and to 37 percent compared to 2021. Passenger traffic in Terminal 4 grew by 26 percent in 2022 compared to 2019, and to 229 percent compared to 2021.
The company received three new aircraft this year – one Airbus A320NEO, and two Airbus A330NEO. It also launched new destinations, such as Manchester, Madrid, Casablanca, Trabzon, Mykonos, Kuala Lumpur, and Hyderabad. Its commitment to the discipline of fl ight departure times was 86 percent in 2022, leading to the national carrier being placed in third position in this aspect in the Middle East and North Africa. The company will receive the largest number of new aircraft in 2024.
Al-Dukhan said, “Our ambition is great for the next year, as we expect a growth in passenger traffic of approximately 4.5 million passengers, and an increase in operations by more than 30 percent. Kuwait Airways will also receive two Airbus A320NEO aircraft. The company will launch fl ights to new destinations such as Athens, Antalya, Taif, Qassim, Al-Ula, Barcelona, Budapest and Berlin. It is also seeking to achieve commitment to fl ight departure times by 90 percent.” Al-Dukhan confirmed that the losses of KAC decreased to KD 55 million in 2022, after a loss of KD 107 million in 2019. He said, “This reduction in losses within just a year is considered as an achievement for everyone who works in the company.
The current year witnessed an increase in fuel prices, so that the cost of fuel incurred by the company is KD 130 million annually.” Al-Dukan indicated that the government still treats KAC as a commercial company at a time when the governments of the region provide support to their national airlines, affirming that KAC is the one that raised the value of the airport, and therefore it must obtain greater discounts to achieve success.
Furthermore, he revealed that KAC objected to the sale of Alafco’s assets to finance the purchase and lease of aircraft, as KAC owns nine percent of its capital, but the company’s largest owners decided to implement it, considering that it was “deficient” from a commercial point of view. Meanwhile, Razzouqi confirmed that the number of operations in 2022 was 30 percent less than in 2019, bearing in mind that 2019 was a full operational year, in addition to being the peak year in the aviation world. He stressed that the company continued on its way towards reducing losses and seizing opportunities, despite the increase in the fuel price by 30 percent in the current year.
Razzouqi revealed that the company is waiting for the “NEO” planes of Airbus due to the advantage of reducing fuel costs by 15 percent compared to the current planes. He explained that the increase in interest rates from 1.5 percent to 4 percent had a negative impact on the cost of services obtained by the company, as the cost of operational services, maintenance services and spare parts increased, but all this does not prevent the company from continuing its policy of reaching the breakeven point in 2024, and from there the shift to positivity in 2025, despite the delay in receiving new aircraft by 4 to 6 months, which may play a major role in changing some data.
Razzouqi revealed that the company is currently working on preparing its strategy for the year 2030 to be completed during the first quarter of this year. He indicated that KAC sold one of its Boeing 777 aircraft, which will go to its new owner in less than a month, and it has also offered to sell three Airbus A340 aircraft, which is expected to be sold by the middle of summer.
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