CEO Today - Middle East Awards 2022

How has flyadeal overcome the challenges the COVID-19 sector has presented the whole sector with? What are some of the most important lessons this time has taught you? flyadeal is just over 4 years old. We have lived half our existence in a COVID environment. When we established flyadeal, there were 3 other start-up aspirants, 2 of which ultimately launched about six months prior to us. It was a fiercely competitive environment from day one with no honeymoon period to get our airline settled; arguably there were too many new airlines launched. In the end, flyadeal is the only one who came through and survived. The key reason for this was that we were very agile learners and adapted quickly. We got our business fundamentals and customer proposition right. This internal culture we built stood us in good stead when COVID hit. The industry in my time has never seen a global pandemic of this magnitude that has lasted for so long. We had to reinvent the airline model to deal with all the governmentmandated COVID measures but more than this re-write our own operations procedures to protect our customers and our staff. The agile learning and fast adapting culture which made us successful in our first two years played a big part in how we went about things and we manage well and are emerging in a strong position. Equally importantly we had to survive COVID as a business. We are very proud to say we were able to keep all our staff, aircraft and manage our costs in a way that we didn’t need to put our hand out for any funding. In fact, in 2021 and 2022 where we are still in a COVID environment, we grew our fleet by 50% in 2021, launched international operations, and were back to carrying more passengers domestically by year-end than we were in 2019. Not many airlines can say this. In 2022, we are continuing to invest in growth and will grow our fleet by another 50% again. What are flyadeal’s most recent achievements you’re proud of? For a very young airline, flyadeal has already achieved international recognition and received numerous awards. • Recognised in “Best Driving Revenue” and “Best Launch” Categories during the 8th Annual SimpliFlying Awards 2018 • CAPA Asia Pacific Start-up of the Year Award for 2018 • Start-Up of the Year from Seamless Awards 2019 • Bronze Dubai Lynx 2019 – Direct for Cargo Passenger Class • 2021 Guinness World Record: Largest word made of light bulbs (Shukran) • 2021 ME Technology Excellence Awards: E-Commerce - Airline • 2021 International Finance Awards: Fastest Growing Low-Cost Airline – Saudi Arabia 2021 The airline accomplished a unique feat by launching exclusively on digital and social channels, which demonstrated the immense potential of the fast-growing digital and social mediamarket. With its vibrant purple, lime colours and youthful inviting brand, flyadeal quickly became very popular with travellers. The airline began its operations in September 2017 with a small fleet of leased A320 aircraft, with double daily flights between Jeddah and Riyadh. In under one year of flying, flyadeal was already operating 392 weekly flights within Saudi Arabia and soon became the second-largest airline on the highest traffic route in the MENA region (Jeddah to Riyadh). The journey of flyadeal has been exceptional. The low-cost airline is now operating approximately The airline has also become the first in the Kingdom to create employment opportunities for Saudi women to work in several areas, including pilots, cabin crew, airport managers and executive leadership ❝ ❝ - 62 - CEO Today Mi dd l e Ea s t Award s 2022 - SAUDIA ARABIA -

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