Kuwait: Kuwaiti low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways posted a 53.2 per cent fall in third-quarter net profit yesterday.

Net income in the three months to September 30 came in at 762,745 dinars (Dh9.8 million), down from 1.63 million dinars it made in the year earlier period.

Net loss in the nine months to September 30 came in at 1.47 million dinars, compared with 1.48 million dinars of net profit it made in the year earlier period, Jazeera said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website.

Jazeera, which aims to fly 82 routes in the Middle East within the next five years, competes with United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia and Dubai-based carrier flydubai which started operations this year.

Jazeera's Chief Executive Stefan Pichler said in Aug-ust he saw a turnaround in the latter part of 2009 as business travellers turn to budget airlines.

Shares of Jazeera fell 4.5 per cent yesterday, underperforming Kuwait's main index which closed 0.7 per cent down. Earnings were announced after trading hours.

Jazeera operates scheduled services to the Middle East, Africa and India. Its main base is Kuwait International Airport. The airline has grown since its launch to become Kuwait's second national airline and has been dynamic in popularizing low-cost carriers in the Middle East.

Largest operator

Four year old Jazeera Airways announced on July 2009 that one out of every four take offs at Kuwait International Airport is a Jazeera Airways aircraft taking off and one of every four passengers travelling to or from Kuwait has chosen Jazeera Airways as their preferred airline, essentially taking over the airport as the largest operator.

According to the July ‘09 report issued by Kuwait Directorate General for Civil Aviation's, Jazeera Airways had the largest number of aircraft movements in the month with 1834 take-offs and landings, surpassing the second largest carrier in aircraft movements by four per cent.

Jazeera Airways raised its capital through an initial public offering in Kuwait that was oversubscribed 12 times. The airline is the first privately owned airline in Kuwait and the Middle East.

The airline is owned by the Boodai Group (30 per cent) and public shares (70 per cent).