Jazeera Airways forecasts profitable 2011; Royal Air Moroc's first B787s to come before year end

Jazeera Airways has announced it expects to be profitable in 2011, despite the unrest in the region and the USD10.1 million loss it suffered in 2010. The carrier returned to profitability in 4Q2010 and aims to be profitable in every quarter this year. The LCC is targetting a local market share of up to 15% in 2011, with fleet expansion to resume in 2012. Jazeera Airways shares were up 3.3% on Monday.

Jazeera Airways expects to launch service to Cairo in May-2011 following approval from the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority granted last week. The carrier plans to increase its network to cover 82 routes in the Middle East within the next five years. The carrier is also seeking approval from Saudi Arabia to operate domestic routes within the kingdom. 

Meanwhile, Egyptian Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour stated Egypt's tourism industry will likely reported a 25% slump in revenues in 2011 and will need until Sep-2011 to get back on track. Tourism revenues in Mar-2011 declined 60% year-on-year. Tourism is Egypt's largest foreign currency earner and contributes over 10% of GDP.

Morocco's Minister of Industry, Trade and New Technologies Ahmed Chami stated Royal Air Maroc expects to receive its first B787 before the end of 2011. Boeing has already painted the carrier's first B787, which is third in the production line. The carrier will be the first to operate the aircraft with General Electric Co engines.

Selected Middle East and African airline share price movements (% change): 11-Apr-2011