DUBAI (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates carrier flydubai swung to a loss of 712.6 million dirhams ($194 million) last year, hit by a plunge in passenger traffic as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Sunday.
The loss compared with a 198.2 million dirham profit in 2019, when the airline reached a compensation deal with Boeing.
Revenue contracted 53.7% to 2.8 billion dirhams.
Flydubai said the pandemic had impacted the airline more than any other crisis, with passenger traffic falling 67% to 3.2 million in 2020 while the number of flights it operated fell 63% to 27,450.
Flydubai, which lacks a domestic market to cushion against international closures imposed because of the pandemic, said 1,092 employees had taken unpaid leave or were on voluntary leave - about 29% of its current workforce of 3,796 staff.
It said 126 employees had left the company.
The airline's operations were significantly reduced last year for several weeks when the UAE closed its borders to international arrivals in March. After initially reopening for foreign residents, Dubai once again allowed foreign visitors to enter from July.
Flydubai's fleet shrank by eight jets to 51 Boeing 737's, it said.
($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)
(Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Catherine Evans)