Thursday 7 November 2019 6:40 pm

Emirates profit soars as fuel price dip gives airline a boost

Emirates airline saw profit nearly quadruple in the first half of the year, bouncing back from its lowest half-year results in a decade in 2018.

The Dubai-based firm, which is owned by the state, cashed in on a decline in global fuel prices, but said global currency movements had an adverse impact.

The state-owned airline made 862m dirhams (£183m) in the six months to 30 September, considerably more than the 226m dirhams it reported this time last year.

Revenue fell three per cent to 47.3bn dirhams as operating costs fell eight per cent, which was largely down to the fall in fuel costs.

The airline took 29.6m people on board over the period, a two per cent decline after it reduced the number of seats it offered by five per cent. This was in part down to a 45-day closure of a runway at its Dubai hub.

It carried 1.2m tonners of cargo over the period, an eight per cent year-on-year decline.

“The global outlook is difficult to predict, but we expect the airline and travel industry to continue facing headwinds over the next six months with stiff competition adding downward pressure on margins,” said chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum.

Emirates Group, which includes the airline and airport services unit Dubai National Air Transport Association (DNATA), made 1.2bn dirhams, up eight per cent. Revenue shrank two per cent to 53.3bn dirhams.

Sheikh Ahmed said the fuel bill was 2bn dirhams cheaper than a year ago. However, it said unfavourable currency fluctuations cost it 1.2bn in profit.

Dnata, which operates at airports around the world, suffered a 64 per cent fall in profit to 311m dirhams. It booked an 84m dirham impairment on amounts it was owed following the collapse of Thomas Cook in September.