Business Times

Emirates adds 4.7 million passengers

By Jagdish Hathiramani

An additional 4.7 million passengers chose Emirates Airlines as their carrier during its recent financial year than in the same period of its previous financial year, even amidst what the company referred to as "some of the toughest operating conditions ever faced". This is a total increase of 21% in passenger numbers to 27.5 million passengers for the financial year ending March 31, 2010, ultimately; leading to the airline's net profit of US$ 964 million.

This was noted by the Emirates Group, the airline's parent, in a international statement highlighting the group's performance during the 2009/2010 financial year, a year in which the group announced an overall profit increase of 248% to US$ 1.1 billion. Meanwhile, also noted was that the group's revenue remained stable at US$ 12.4 billion; a reflection of lower yields on passenger and cargo revenues offset by increased traffic. However, the group profit margin increased to 9.1% from last year's 2.6% while its cash balance also improved by 43.3% to US$ 3.4 billion from the previous year's US$ 1 billion cash situation. This also follows US$ 931 million worth of investments in new aircraft and related equipment and facilities.

Indicating that the addition of 15 new aircraft and the expansion of its Airbus A380 route network to Seoul, Bangkok, Toronto, Paris and Jeddah were milestones for its success, the group also noted that this was "despite International Air Transport Association (IATA) reporting that airlines’ financial losses worldwide for 2009 reached US$ 9.4 billion – the most difficult situation ever faced by the industry".

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