The air-transport operation recorded a stand-alone revenue of $ 100.1 million – the first instance in the 38-year history of the airline where monthly operating revenue reached this landmark figure.
The airline attributes the increase in revenue to its expanded network and continuous improvement in revenue management processes. A total of 566,627 passengers were carried during the month, a 27 per cent increase over December 2016 and recorded a Passenger Load Factor of 85.9 per cent – above that of most major airlines in the world. Cargo carriage too witnessed a significant growth, rising 23 per cent year-over-year to 12,016 metric tonnes.
The airline’s newly launched route to Melbourne, Australia, was a resounding success – achieving a Passenger Load Factor of 92.4 per cent – and recording a significant overall profit during the month. This makes Melbourne the first long-haul route launch of the airline in recent years to reach profitability in such a short period.
The airline also recorded a successful month in terms of operational efficiency, recording an average aircraft utilisation of 13.8 hours per day. The wide-bodied fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft achieved an average daily utilisation of 15.2 hours. The airline’s strategy of re-fleeting with fuel-efficient “single aisle” aircraft paid off, with its five-strong fleet of Airbus A320neo family aircraft countering rising fuel costs.
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