REUTERS: Emirates, Dubai’s flagship airline, reported a 40 percent jump in annual net profit yesterday, aided by savings from lower oil prices.
The airline, one of the world’s largest carriers of international passengers, posted a profit of 4.6 billion dirhams (US $ 1.25 billion) for the financial year to March 31, Chairman and Chief Executive Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told a news conference.
The latest bumper profit increase from the carrier comes after a coalition of United States’ airlines and their labour unions accused Gulf rivals of receiving more than US $ 40 billion in unfair subsidies -- charges dismissed as false by all the carriers including Emirates.
Sheik Ahmed said lower oil prices had saved the airline around two billion dirhams during the financial year, with fuel constituting 35 percent of operating costs against 39 percent in the previous 12 months.
Revenue also increased 7 percent year-on-year to 88.8 billion dirhams.
These helped offset 1.7 billion dirhams of lost revenue from runway maintenance work at its Dubai International Airport hub, which lasted for 80 days started May 1.
It also made up for the impact of the strong dollar, which cost the company 1.5 billion dirhams.
The world’s biggest customer of the Airbus A380 superjumbo said profit for the wider Emirates group, which includes airline services arm Dnata, rose 34 percent to 5.5 billion dirhams.
This was driven by a 10 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to 96.5 billion dirhams.