Sunday, May 24, 2009

Emirates airline profits down 72%

Friday, 22 May 2009 13:06 UK BBC

Emirates plane
The airline continues to expand its fleet

The Emirates group, the largest airline in the Middle East, has reported a fall in profits of 72% for the 2008/09 fiscal year.

The group, like many others around the world, has been hit hard by the global slowdown and high fuel prices.

Its profit of 1.49bn dirhams ($406m; £255m) for the year to March 31 compared with a 5.3bn dirham profit for the previous year.

Also on Friday, British Airways reported a record loss of £401m.

Rising sales - thanks partly to the addition of new routes - and lower costs helped it remain in profit, Emirates group, which includes the Emirates airline as well as Dnata, an airport operations company, and other businesses.

Total group revenue was 46.249bn dirham, a 10.4% increase on the previous year.

"No one could have predicted the scale of the worldwide recession which is now impacting every country on earth," Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the company's chairman and chief executive said in a statement.

"Emirates has worked hard to cope with this downturn by maintaining our agility and responsiveness in a volatile economic environment," he added.

"Although fuel prices are dropping, demand for business and first class traffic is still weak in many markets," he said.

Emirates is the largest customer for the Airbus A380, with 58 aircraft orders.

It expects to receive 18 planes from Boeing and Airbus in the coming year.

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