Emirates sees record profit despite air cargo decline
Emirates Group has reported record transport-derived profits for the 2015-16 financial year (the period ending 31 March), but revenue from air cargo has fallen.
While Emirates Group made a profit of US $2.2-billion over the last 12 months, its 28th consecutive year of profitable operations, air cargo made up only 14% of transport-derived revenue (US $3-billion), a drop of 9% year-on-year.
Total revenue also declined by 4% year-on-year when unfavourable currency exchange rates are factored in. Despite this, both Emirates Airline and dnata, the aviation service provider that forms part of the group, achieved their highest-ever profits.
“Against an unfavourable currency situation which eroded our revenues and profits, an uncertain global economic environment dogged by weak consumer and investor sentiment, as well as ongoing socio-political instability in many regions around the world, the group’s performance is testament to the success of our business model and strategies,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Emirates SkyCargo, the carrier’s freight division, saw freight tonnage increase by 6% over the previous year to reach 2.5m tonnes, but yield decreased by 16%, and was also impacted by the weakening of major currencies and on ongoing malaise in air cargo.
“Looking at the year ahead, we expect that the low oil prices will continue to be a double-edged sword – a boon for our operating costs, but a bane for global business and consumer confidence,” said Al Maktoum.
During the year, Emirates SkyCargo increased all-cargo capacity to Mexico City, and launched new freighter services to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Ahmedabad in India, Columbus in the US, Algiers in Algeria and Ciudad Del Este in Paraguay.
The airline’s purpose-built cargo terminal at Al Maktoum International airport in Dubai South was also inaugurated last year and Emirates SkyCargo took delivery of a new Boeing 777 freighter. It now operates a total of 15 freighters: 13 B777Fs, and two B747-400Fs.
Parent carrier Emirates took delivery of a total of 29 new aircraft over the 12 months (including the B777F), bringing its total fleet to a total of 251 aircraft by the end of March, while bellyhold capacity was expanded on several new and existing passenger routes.