Dubai - Emirates Group boosted full-year profit 50 percent as the world’s biggest international airline expanded its wide-body jet fleet to siphon more long-haul travelers through Dubai and benefited from a decision not to hedge against fuel-price fluctuations.
Net income for the 12 months ended March 31 rose to 8.2 billion dirhams ($2.2 billion), Emirates said Tuesday. Emirates Airline’s profit increased 56 percent to 7.1 billion dirhams even as revenue fell 4 percent to 85 billion dirhams. The company saved 9 billion dirhams as oil prices declined, while the strong dollar impacted revenue by 6 billion dirhams, chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.
"The strong dollar against major currencies will continue to be a challenge," Sheikh Ahmed said at a press conference in Dubai. ”We expect low oil prices to be a double edge sword, good for operating costs but bad for global business and consumer confidence. There’s pressure on yields, so we invest profits into the business."
The airline benefited from a 28 percent oil-price drop in the fiscal year after opting not to hedge against crude. The airline added 29 Airbus Group A380s and Boeing 777s to what was already the largest wide-body fleet, expanding its hub and winning more long-haul transfer traffic from rivals.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, the Gulf number 3, posted net income of $103 million for the 2015 calendar year, up from $73 million a year earlier. Qatar Airways, the number 2, plans to publish numbers in June.
The International Air Transport Association estimated in December that Middle Eastern airlines would earn a collective $1.4 billion in 2015, rising to $1.7 billion this year.Bloomberg