Emirates airline posts 46 million dollars half-year profit
Dubai's Emirates airline, which last week unveiled $15 billion in deals with Airbus and Boeing, on Wednesday, November 7 announced profit of $46 million (168.2 million dirhams) in the six months to September 30.
"The Emirates Group has proved once again its ability to buck the current trend affecting the airline industry," the government-owned carrier said. The figures, based on unaudited financial results, compared with the $45 million (164.2 million dirhams) profit for the half-year ending September 30, 2000.
"We are very pleased to announce half-yearly profits at a time when confidence in the airline industry has been shaken by recent tragic events in the US and by the earlier global air traffic shortfall," Emirates chairman Sheikh Amhed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said in a statement.
"Our focus now is to maintain a strict regime of cost management across the company to ensure that our results at the end of this financial year will continue to return a profit."
Emirates has announced a recruitment freeze but is phasing out flight reductions introduced on some routes after the September 11 terror attacks and returning to normal scheduled services.
Group operating revenue of $915 million (3.34 billion dirhams) recorded 14 percent growth compared to $808 million (2.95 billion dirhams) over the same period of 2000. Overall seat capacity increased by over 23.3 percent but seat factor was maintained at 74 percent compared to 74.7 percent a year earlier. Cash balances on September 30 were "robust" at 2.8 billion dirhams ($763 million).
Since Dubai founded the airline in 1985 it has built up a fleet of 36 aircraft flying to 56 cities in 39 countries. Emirates registered a 20 percent jump in passengers in 2000 to 5.7 million, with a 24 percent increase in cargo to 335,194 tons. That provided record profits of $85 million.
Emirates has embarked on a massive expansion program to have 100 aircraft in 2010 in the belief that tourism and commerce will continue to grow apace.
At last week's Dubai airshow, Sheikh Ahmed announced orders for 22 giant double-decker Airbus A380 aircraft and options for 10 more at a cost of seven billion dollars. Delivery was due to start from 2006.
The airline, which in July became the first to order the superjumbos, also ordered three twin-engined A330 Airbuses worth $450 million and signed a letter of intent for eight of the larger four-engined A340-600 Airbuses worth one billion dollars. Sheikh Ahmed also signed letters of intent to buy 25 US Boeing 777 passenger jets for $6.6 billion, to be delivered between 2004 and 2010. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)