Soaring fuel prices meant that Emirates Airline experienced a 72 per cent decline in profits in the last financial year, the Dubai carrier reported today.
Emirates, the world's fastest growing airline, achieved a profit of Dh1.502 billion in the twelve months ending on March 31, compared to a record Dh5.375 billion in the previous financial year.
"Our most significant challenge was the high price of jet fuel, which has remained uncharacteristically above US$100 a barrel since February 2011," Emirates said.
"As a result, fuel costs now represent 40 per cent of our total costs, which means we spent an additional US$1.6 billion (Dh5.9 billion) over the last financial year which directly impacts our bottom line."
The proportion of jet fuel costs to total operating cost is at a all-time high for the airline, it said. Jet fuel spend for the carrier increased by 44.4 per cent over the previous year.
Revenue for the Emirates reached a record level of Dh62.3 billion in the last financial year, an increase of 14.9 per cent over the previous year.
Emirates last year added 22 aircraft to its fleet and expanded its route network by eleven destinations despite the challenging environment.
"The economic environment was hampered by the on-going euro zone debt crisis and a slowly rebounding global economy," Emirates said.
"Other major challenges included sustained geopolitical turmoil in Africa and the Middle East and several natural disasters."
Emirates Group as a whole, which includes Dnata, reported net profit of Dh2.3 billion, 61 per cent less than the last financial year.
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