Emirates Airlines flies high

Courtesy Emirates Airlines

WHILE many airlines are reporting declining profits, Emirates Airlines posted net profit of 1.7 billion UAE dirhams (US$462.9 million) for the first half (Apr to Sep) of Fiscal 2012/13, more than doubled last year’s 836 million dirhams.

Founded in 1985, Emirates has overtaken Singapore Airlines (SIA) which it set out to emulate; SIA reported first half net profit of US$137 million, down 30 per cent. Emirates is today the world’s largest carrier by passenger volume.

For all the woes that other airlines are facing – unstable fuel prices, competition from budget carriers and the continuing economic problems faced by Europe – Emirates appears to be unaffected. While is competitors, such as SIA and Qantas, are shifting focus to the budget market in view of the slow recovery of the premium market, Emirates continues to build on its premium strengths. It has also succeeded in promoting home base Dubai as the hub for connections between the continents, thus enhancing its own positioning in the business.

Emirates chief executive Tim Clark said: “Our trajectory is a continuum of where we’ve been going in the last two to three years.”

Perhaps that’s what underlies its success. The Middle-East airline has not stopped growing; it took delivery of 13 wide-body jets in the period under review. Mr Clark added: |We’ve taken on lots of new airplanes, we’ve got new routes which we’ve opened, and we’ve got more coming.”

Emirates must be doing something right. Mr Clark said: “We really haven’t let up whereas many of our peer groups and competitors have slowed down or contracted.” Something that is reminiscent of the SIA in its better days.

And it looks like Qantas has made the right bet in deciding to partner with Emirates to shore up its bottom-line. Not quite good news for SIA and others.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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