Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways plans to suspend its dividend distribution to shareholders for the 2019 financial year, media reports said. Jazeera Airways’ decision to suspend dividend distribution comes in an effort to cope with the airline’s losses incurred due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Jazeera Airways’ board of directors have taken the step to suspend dividend distribution to protect the airline’s business operations in the long term.
It is reported that international bookings in the Middle East have dropped 40 percent year-on-year in March and April. In Kuwait, the Coronavirus pandemic could lead to 2.9 million loss in passenger volumes and $547 million loss in base revenues, IATA said.
It appears that more than 16,000 passenger flights have been cancelled in the Middle East, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) data. That said, the number is expected to increase as countries are now further implementing new measures to tackle current challenges.
Jazeera Airways Chairman Marwan Boodai, told the media, “As a private sector company, we are taking full responsibility to ensure our business continuity. Therefore, we have implemented decisive measures to safeguard our financial position caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, including the suspension of the 2019 dividend payment and activating the drawdown of bank facilities that were not previously tapped, to support Jazeera’s ongoing liquidity through the coming months. We have always taken prudent and pivotal actions in difficult circumstances. In such times, placing our employees and customers first is our priority by ensuring they are not affected in the long-run. We are committed to our role as a Kuwaiti national carrier and will continue to perform our part to ensure we can support the economy and uphold our national duty.”