The results, for the half-year ending 30th September 2001, also compares well to the net profit of Dhs164.2 million (US$45 million) during the same period last year. The figures are based on unaudited financial results.
The news comes close on the heels of Emirates` largest-ever aircraft order at the recent Dubai 2001 Air Show, valued at US$15 billion. The total order for the super-jumbo Airbus A380, A340-600, A330-200 and Boeing 777 aircraft, will boost Emirates’ fleet to 100 aircraft by the year 2010.
Emirates` Chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, commented: “We are very pleased to announce half-yearly profits at a time when confidence in the airline industry has been shaken by the recent tragic events in the US, and by the earlier global air traffic shortfall.
“Our focus now is to maintain a strict regime of cost management across the company to ensure that our results at the end of this financial year will continue to return a profit.”
For the next six months, Emirates is employing various cost control measures, including a moratorium on staff recruitment. The airline continues to operate to all its destinations. Recent trimming of frequencies on some routes is currently being phased out in a return to normal scheduled services.
Emirates` operating revenue of Dhs3.36 billion recorded a strong growth of 14% compared to Dhs2.95 billion during the same period last year. Even though overall seat capacity increased by over 23.3 %, the seat factor was maintained at 74%, compared to 74.7 % last year.
Cash balances on 30th September 2001 were robust at Dhs2,800 million (US$763 million).
Emirates recently signed a Dhs320 million (US$87 million) financing agreement on a Japanese Operating Lease, for the acquisition of its 19th Airbus A330-200 aircraft, powered by Rolls Royce engines. This deal, which is a low-cost financing structure, is a notable vote of confidence in the airline.