Emirates Airlines announces 52% increase in profits

Dubai carrier also carried 15% more passengers in 2012.
NEWS, Aviation


By: Ed Attwood

Dubai-based Emirates Airlines has posted a 52 percent increase in profits to $622m in the last financial year.

Meanwhile, Emirates Group – of which the airline is a subsidiary - posted a 34 percent increase in profits to $845m, helped by a 17 percent increase in revenues to $21.1bn.

The number of passengers carried by the airline rose by 15 percent to 39.4 million, while seat factor stayed at 80 percent, the same as last year’s.

Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 15 percent over the year to $7.6bn, while overall revenues at the airline rose 17 percent. The group’s cash balance rose by 53 percent to $7.3bn.

“Staying the course, our strategy for growth has reaped high benefits this past financial year, which has been our strongest ever in relationship to capacity growth," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, in a press statement.

"Emirates seat load factor over the last three years has been 80 per cent despite our increase in capacity by 44 per cent during the same period, showing the continued global demand for our product.

During the course of last year, Emirates raised more than $7.8bn in funding for new aircraft, and received a total of 34 new widebody jets in the same period.

Emirates’ freight arm, SkyCargo, saw tonnage increase 16 percent to 2.1m tonnes. The division accounted for 15 percent of total transport revenues.

The firm’s hotels and leisure division – Destination and Leisure Management – saw a 15 percent rise in revenue to $125m, while dnata also increased revenues by 15 percent to reach $1.8bn.

The announcement is a major improvement on last year, where Emirates’ profits dropped by 72 percent on the back of a 44 percent increase in its fuel bill to $6.6bn.

The global airline industry is estimated to have made $7.6bn in profit in calendar-year 2012, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The profit margin for the industry was just 1.1 percent, reflecting the poor global economic environment and the high oil price.