Jazeera marks one year with plans for six new planes


KUWAIT’S Jazeera Airways marked its first anniversary by saying it flew more than half a million passengers in its first 12 months.

In a separate development, the airline also said it is likely to exercise an option to buy six more Airbus A320 planes.
Chairman and chief executive Marwan Boodai said after a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah that the airline now plans to boost both destinations and flights.
The company currently operates four Airbus A320s, and will take delivery of another aircraft by mid-January and a sixth before the end of 2007, Boodai said. Four more will be delivered by 2010. In all, it has ordered 10 Airbus A320s with an option for six more at a cost exceeding $600 million dollars.
Last month, Jazeera doubled its capital to $70 million, and it plans to list on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in the first quarter of 2007.
The airline now flies to 13 destinations in India, Iran, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, in addition to Lebanon, Bahrain and Dubai.
Boodai, quoted by media reports, also said it has also secured an agreement in principle to operate to Saudi Arabia.
The airline is also considering a secondary listing in Dubai next year after it lists on Kuwait's bourse in the first quarter of 2007, Boodai told Reuters.  On exercising its options for the six new aircraft, Boodai said, “By the end of the summer we will be in a better position to decide exactly when we will be exercising the option for the further six aircraft.”
He was also confident that the airline would move into the black in 2006, reversing a small loss in its first reporting period.