Jazeera Airways (J9, Kuwait) now plans to seek only USD1 billion in funding from commercial banks to finance the purchase of new Airbus aircraft, instead of the USD2 billion it said it was looking for last year to fund 70% of the deal, its chairman, Marwan Marzouq Jassim Boodai, revealed this week.

The Kuwaiti low-cost carrier signed in November 2021 a firm commitment to buy twenty A320-200Ns and eight A321-200Ns. No mention was made of specific types, although CEO Rohit Ramachandran had told ch-aviation the previous month that the A321-200NX(LR) and A321-200NY(XLR) were appealing.

However, Jazeera Airways is now seeking to fund only 30% of the deal with financing from commercial banks, Boodai told Reuters on February 7. The rest will come through “sales and lease-backs with aircraft companies,” while the carrier studies the financing process “case by case [...] in line with the best cost.”

Jazeera Airways has already transferred a USD100 million pre-delivery payment for the 28 Airbus narrowbodies, Boodai said, and it has already taken delivery of two of them. Three more will arrive this year.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Jazeera Airways currently operates a fleet of eleven A320-200Ns and eight A320-200s (plus one of the latter wet-leased in from Cambodia’s Lanmei Airlines (LQ, Phnom Penh)).

Boodai was speaking on the same day Jazeera Airways posted “record net profits” for 2022 of KWD20.1 million (USD65.75 million), an increase of 184% over 2021. In materials lodged with stock exchange Boursa Kuwait, the airline said its board had approved at a meeting, also on February 7, a new credit facility agreement with an unnamed local bank of up to KWD42 million dinars (USD137.4 million) and a renewal with increase of existing agreements with banks of up to KWD74.7 million (USD244.4 million).

Separately, in a press release, it predicted a positive outlook for 2023 and anticipated its fleet would grow to 35 by 2026, in line with its expansion plans for the coming years. Its inaugural flight from Kuwait to Moscow Domodedovo took place on February 2, a route that will be served 4x weekly. About its long-term business model, Jazeera referred to a “hyper-growth phase extending to 2027-28 as growth in fleet and network remains unabated,” pledging more than 100 destinations in the coming five years. According to the ch-aviation capacities module, it currently operates to 47.

Meanwhile, the carrier is in ongoing talks with competing engine makers Pratt & Whitney and its current supplier CFM International for an engine order to power the incoming jets and aims to “finalise a decision by mid-2024,” CEO Rohit Ramachandran told the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National on February 7. The airline is so far “not happy” with offers from both manufacturers, he said.