Jazeera's profits surge over first half

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Kuwaiti budget carrier Jazeera Airways has turned in a KD7.5 million ($26 million) net profit for the first half of the year, including a KD3.9 million surplus for the second quarter.

Jazeera posted revenues of nearly KD31 million, an increase of 9%, for the six months to 30 June and operating profit of KD9.5 million, up nearly 50%.

Group chairman Marwan Boodai says the average load factor is "exceeding targets" at 70%. The airline carried 4.1% more passengers than over the first half of 2012.

Jazeera has taken 13 Airbus A320s out of an order for 15 of the type, following delivery of an aircraft in June. Seven are with the carrier, the other six with its wholly-owned leasing operation Sahaab.

One of the remaining two A320s is scheduled for delivery in October, the other in May 2014. It says it has secured funding for all three jets, through a loan led by Kuwaiti bank NBK and DVB Bank.

It says its forecasts "remain unchanged" for the rest of the year. The group expects a seasonal increase in demand in the third quarter, and a "mild" fourth quarter.