The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Parent company of Emirates, Mideast's biggest airline, posts yearly profit of $1.1 billion

  • Print

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The parent company of the Middle East's biggest airline, Emirates, posted an annual profit Thursday of $1.1 billion as it enjoyed a dip in fuel costs and boosted capacity with the addition of two dozen new planes.

The growth comes at a time of resurgence for the carrier's home base of Dubai. The Mideast commercial hub has rebounded sharply from a financial crisis that came to a head in 2009 as its vital trade, travel and property sectors benefit from an improving global economy.

Dubai International Airport, Emirates' home, now rivals London Heathrow as the world's busiest airport for international passengers.

Emirates Group, which includes the airline and related businesses such as the Dnata ground and travel services provider, said the profit represented a 32 per cent increase over the previous year.

It was the Dubai government-owned company's 26th straight profitable year — a rare unbroken winning streak in the industry.

Emirates is the largest of three government-backed Gulf airlines that are increasingly challenging Western and Asian carriers for long-haul travellers.

It and rivals Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways have turned their desert hubs into major transcontinental transit centres packed with duty-free shops and teeming with passengers connecting to flights from around the globe.

Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates' chairman and CEO, acknowledged growing competitive pressures and said a major runway overhaul in Dubai would prove challenging in the months ahead. But he said the carrier remains poised for further growth.

"We are moving into the new financial year with confidence and a strong foundation for continued profitability," he said.

Revenue for the fiscal year, which ran through the end of March, rose 13 per cent to $23.9 billion.

The company's sales were helped by a surge in passenger numbers, which were up 13 per cent to 44.5 million.

Emirates took delivery of 24 new wide-body planes during the fiscal year, including 16 of the double-decker Airbus A380 aircraft and eight Boeing 777s.

The airline operates more of both types of planes than any other carrier, and has dozens more of each on order. Its fleet now boasts 217 aircraft in total.

While the additional planes resulted in higher overall fuel costs, average prices per gallon of jet fuel dipped 4 per cent during the year, the company said.

Among the new destinations Emirates added over the past financial year were Boston, Kabul, Stockholm and Kyiv.

The carrier last year began operating out of a new 20-gate concourse linked to its existing terminal at Dubai International that is purpose-built to accommodate the mammoth A380 aircraft.

The airport ranked second behind Heathrow in terms of international passengers carried in 2013, but topped the London hub in the first quarter of this year.

Emirates' growth could be slowed in 2014, however, as the airport undertakes a much-needed runway overhaul that began last week. The project, which runs into July, forced Emirates to cut flights to 41 cities and switch flight times on others.

Sheik Ahmed estimated the runway project will cost the company 1 billion dirhams, or $272 million, in lost revenue this year.


Follow Adam Schreck on Twitter at

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jaws of life used to free two people after two-car collision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google