x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Emirates Airline back on track as profits rise fourfold

Emirates Airline's full-year profits have more than quadrupled, returning it to levels from before the global downturn.

Emirates Airline's profits more than quadrupled to US$964 million (Dh3.54bn) in the fiscal year to the end of March, as fuel prices declined and the recovering global economy boosted passenger traffic. The carrier's results also reflected its ownership of more than 25 associated companies in hospitality and retail, and it said a rise in passenger figures had helped to offset a decline in average ticket prices. Those prices decreased by 17 per cent, reflecting the intense competition among airlines in the global downturn, while passenger traffic rose to 27.5 million passengers, an increase of 21 per cent. "It has been an exceptional year of continued profitability against a backdrop of the worst global recession in generations," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates.

The profits put the airline back in line with its performance before the global downturn. It earned $1.45bn in the 12 months that ended on March 31 2008, only to see profits fall to $187m the next year. Emirates is one of the largest companies in Dubai, employing more than 37,000 people and operating a global network of 102 destinations with its fleet of 145 wide-bodied aircraft. It has made profits in each of the past 22 years and is one of the most transparent of Middle East airlines, releasing its audited financial results to satisfy disclosure requirements from its bondholders. igale@thenational.ae