Emirates The parent company of the Dubai-based airline, yesterday announced record full-year profits of $1.6 billion for the year to the end of March.
That's a 43 per cent increase on last year's figures - and a stellar performance given rocketing oil prices and regional unrest. Emirates Airline accounted for most of the group's profit, earning $1.5 billion over the year. Yesterday the airline's chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the figure would have been even higher but for the rising cost of crude forcing the carrier to spend $200 million in additional fuel costs in the first four months of this year.
"This year's record results represent our drive to push the boundaries of aviation, questioning the norms and advocating for open and fair competition. Despite unforeseen challenges in the form of political instability and natural disasters we have managed, through sheer determination, nimbleness and quick thinking, to produce our best ever result," Sheikh Ahmed said.
A sharp increase of 41.2 per cent in fuel costs at ($4.6 billion), accounted for a sizeable 34.4 per cent of the airline's total operating costs - close to the record highs witnessed in 2008-09.
Revenues rose by 26.4 per cent to reach Dhs57.4bn ($15.6bn). And delighted Emirates staff took to social network sites yesterday to praise the firm after it was announced they are to share in its good fortunes, with a bonus equal to 12 weeks' salary.
The airline revealed that it carried 31.4 million passengers over the course of the year, an increase of 14.5 per cent or four million passengers on the previous year.
The group's other companies also contributed to its impressive bottom line, with aviation and travel services firm Dnata recording a profit of $152.6 million for the year.
"A clear indication of our strength, this year's financial result represents the tireless work of our 57,000 strong workforce," Sheikh Ahmed said.