Emirates’ sets record H1


EMIRATES Airline has announced yet another record performance with net profit for the first six months of the current financial year 2006-07 at Dh1.2 billion ($323 million), up 29 per cent compared to Dh922 million ($251 million) recorded in the same period last year.

The results reflect a strong revenue performance driven by robust passenger and cargo demand, and better yields, which softened the impact of high fuel prices on operating costs.
Emirates’ operating revenue of Dh13.5 billion ($3.67 billion) for the half-year represented a strong growth of 30 per cent compared to revenue of Dh10.4 billion during the same period last year.
Passenger revenue recorded a 31 per cent growth, with passengers carried increasing by 1.41 million or 20 per cent to 8.39 million, compared to 6.98 million for the first half-year of 2005-06. Seat factor improved to 76.4 per cent for the period, reflecting the robust demand in tandem with an increased passenger seat capacity (in terms of available seat kilometres) of 25 per cent, versus the same period last year.
Fuel costs for the first six months crossed $1 billion and remained the top expenditure accounting for 30.7 per cent of total operating costs, up from 27.2 per cent for the full period last year. Measures taken by Emirates to remain on target include stringent cost-containment and efficiency drives, but like other airlines, Emirates has been forced to maintain fuel surcharges on tickets, which do not fully cover the escalating costs.
Emirates’ cash position, including held to maturity investments, on September 30 was healthy at Dh11.2 billion, an increase of 15 per cent compared to Dh9.7 billion six months earlier. This was after paying dividends of Dh386 million to the ownership pertaining to the past financial year, and funding capital outflows of around Dh1.46 billion that included aircraft  pre-delivery payments and other capital items.

EMIRATES said it is to become the world’s first airline to introduce in-flight mobile phone use for passengers across its entire fleet, beginning with one Boeing 777 in January. The announcement represents an investment of $27 million by Emirates to fit its fleet with the equipment supplied by AeroMobile, the pioneering provider of inflight mobile services. Passengers will be allowed to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages from Emirates aircraft. The airline said its customers already make more than 6,000 calls a month from in-seat phones.