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Kuwait's Jazeera Airways considering 13 jet order, chairman says

Ahmed Hagagy
·1 min read

By Ahmed Hagagy

KUWAIT, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Kuwait's Jazeera Airwaysis considering ordering 13 narrow-body jets, itschairman told Reuters on Monday, tempted by the possibility ofpicking up planes on discount from manufacturers seeking buyersfollowing cancelled orders.

The budget carrier has long mulled an aircraft order toexpand and replace its fleet of leased Airbus, butdecided against going head with such a deal as recently as 2019.

"We have put in place a five-year plan in which the numberof our fleet aircraft will increase from 17 to 30 aircraftwithin five years ending in 2025," Chairman Marwan Boodai said.

He said the airline could pick up aircraft that were hadbeen built for clients who later cancelled their orders or wentbust, commonly known in the industry as white tails.

"It will depend on prices," Boodai said, adding that itcould also lease the new aircraft.

Previously, Jazeera had considered acquiring Airbus A320sand A220s, Boeing 737s and Embraer E2s.

The airline on Monday reported a full-year net loss of 26.4million dinar ($87.3 million).

Boodai said Jazeera would remain unprofitable in the firstsix months of the year due to the ongoing impact of thecoronavirus pandemic which has devastated global travel demand.

However, the airline could make a small full-year profit,fuelled by a recovery it expects to begin in August, he said.

($1 = 0.3023 Kuwaiti dinars)(Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair)