Emirates boosts profit by 50% as it targets long-haul passengers

Airline expanded its wide-body jet fleet to siphon more long-haul travellers through Dubai

Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

 

Emirates Group boosted full-year profit 50 per cent as the world’s biggest international airline expanded its wide-body jet fleet to siphon more long-haul travellers through Dubai and benefited from a decision not to hedge against fuel-price fluctuations.

Net income for the 12 months ended March 31st rose to 8.2 billion dirhams (€1.9 billion), Emirates said Tuesday. Emirates Airline’s profit increased 56 per cent to 7.1 billion dirhams even as revenue fell 4 per cent to 85 billion dirhams. The company saved 9 billion dirhams as oil prices declined, while the strong dollar impacted revenue by 6 billion dirhams, chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

“The strong dollar against major currencies will continue to be a challenge,” Sheikh Ahmed said at a press conference in Dubai. “We expect low oil prices to be a double edge sword, good for operating costs but bad for global business and consumer confidence. There’s pressure on yields, so we invest profits into the business.”The airline benefited from a 28 per cent oil-price drop in the fiscal year after opting not to hedge against crude. The airline added 29 Airbus Group A380s and Boeing 777s to what was already the largest wide-body fleet, expanding its hub and winning more long-haul transfer traffic from rivals.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways posted net income of $103 million (€90.4 million) for the 2015 calendar year, up from $73 million a year earlier. Qatar Airways plans to publish numbers in June.

The International Air Transport Association estimated in December that Middle Eastern airlines would earn a collective $1.4 billion in 2015, rising to $1.7 billion this year.

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