DUBAI - Flydubai swung to a loss of almost 160 million dirhams ($43.5 million) for 2018, it said on Wednesday, citing higher fuel costs and unfavourable currency moves.

The state-owned Dubai airline, which made a profit of 37.3 million dirhams in 2017, said fuel costs accounted for 29.8 percent of operating costs last year compared with 25 percent the previous year.

Though passenger numbers rose to 11 million from 10.9 million in 2017, the airline said it had also been hit by rising interest rates.

Flydubai has $500 million in outstanding Islamic bonds due in November and recently asked banks for a $300 million loan for aircraft payments, Reuters reported last month.

According to Refinitiv data, the company also has about $230 million in outstanding debt due in 2025 ($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell Editing by David Goodman) ((;))