November 11, 2008

Emirates Reports 88% Slump in H1 Net Profit

Dubai-based Emirates Airline has reported a net profit of $77 million for the first six months of the financial year ended September 30, 2008, down 88%, compared to $643 million in net profit for the same period in 2007, showing the impact of the record fuel prices earlier in 2008.

The drop in profits reflects a 40% increase in airline unit costs per tonne kilometer, with fuel spend more than doubling from $1.1 billion in the first six months of the previous fiscal year, to $2.5 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

In the first half of its financial year 2008-09, Emirates's operating revenues increased by 31% to $6 billion. Passenger traffic was up 11%, cargo tonnes up 13%, and passenger yield increased by 20%.

Seat factor averaged 78.3%, down slightly on 79.7% for the previous year, against a 13% increase in capacity. Emirates's current fleet size is 121 aircraft. Since the beginning of the current financial year, Emirates received delivery of eight new wide body aircraft including two Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.

Ahmed Al-Maktoum, chairman and CEO of the Emirates Airline and Group, said: "The first half of the year has been very tough for the airline industry, with record fuel prices forcing many carriers to shut shop or consolidate. Emirates has worked hard to manage the impact of high fuel prices on our unit costs, while continuing to grow our business and provide our customers with a quality product and service."