Emirates airlines recorded a profit, 52 percent high, and has surpassed Lufthansa to become the leader among international airlines. The airline posts its 23rd consecutive year of profit with a performance of US$1.5bn (Dh5.5bn) till March 31. The carrier also owns non-airline subsidiaries in hospitality, retial, and services, which also contributed to the profits.
The carrier performed against regional unrest, natural calamities such as ash clouds, tsunamis, and earthquakes, and soaring fuel prices. The carrier is expected to rollout a dividend almost double than that was promised and Dubai government is expected to get a major windfall from dividends.
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines had its robust earnings from increased passenger occupany with almost 80 percent seats occupied per flight. However, this year IATA forecasts a lower profit for the carrier due to high fuel price.
The executives of the carrier attributes the profits to low operating costs and the status of Middle East as an ideal hub for global airlines. Geographically, Dubai continues to be an ideal location for a travel of eight-hour flight or less from any other part of the world. Almost 75 percent of the global networks emerge from Dubai.
The expansion plans of Emirates have disappointed European airlines that view the carrier?s growth as a threat to their business. The financial result of the carrier has only added to the woes and European airline industry request for more protection. Emirates executives, however, opined that they believed in open competition and more liberalized market.
The carrier?s cargo division also reported a sturdy result from their freight business in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Middle East. The division reported a profit of $2.4bn, which is 11.8 percent above the previous year profit. Sister concern of the carrier, Dnata, also recorded steady profits at $1.2bn.