Emirates announces record half-year performance for 2022-23 as travel demand surges

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Emirates, one of the world’s biggest airlines, has reported a record profit in the first half of its latest financial year as travel demand booms following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

On Thursday, the Emirates Group announced a record half-year performance for its 2022-23 financial year, with a six month net profit of U$1.2 billion - a turnaround of about $1.6 billion loss for the same period last year.

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Group revenue was $15.3 billion for the first six months of 2022-23 (April to September), up 128 percent from $6.7 billion last year. This was driven by the strong demand for air transport across the world with the further easing and removal of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Emirates also carried 20 million passengers in the six-month period, up 228 percent from the same period last year.

In their latest fiscal report, Emirates Group closed the first half year of 2022-23 with a strong cash position of $8.9 billion on September 30, 2022, compared to $7 billion, as on March 31, 2022. The Group has been able to tap on its own strong cash reserves to support business needs, including debt payments and pandemic-related commitments.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Airline and Group said: “The Group’s record performance for the first six months of 2022-23 is the result of forward planning, agile business response, and the efforts of our talented and committed workforce.”

“Across the Group, our operations recovery accelerated as more countries eased and removed travel restrictions. We were ready and amongst the first movers to serve the strong customer demand thanks to our robust business plans, the support of our industry partners, and our ongoing investments in people, technology, and products and services.”

“For the coming months, we remain focused on restoring our operations to pre-pandemic levels and recruiting the right skills for our current and future requirements. We expect customer demand across our business divisions to remain strong in H2 2022-23. However, the horizon is not without headwinds, and we are keeping a close watch on inflationary costs and other macro-challenges such as the strong US dollar and the fiscal policies of major markets.”

 Emirates airliners are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 13, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)
Emirates airliners are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 13, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)

Sheikh Ahmed added: “The Group expects to return to our track record of profitability at the close of our full financial year.”

Emirates also grew by 10 percent in the same six-month period to an overall count of 93,893 at September 30, 2022.

Emirates continued to focus on restoring its global passenger network and connections through its Dubai hub, restarting services and adding flights to meet customer demand across markets.

In June, it launched services to Tel Aviv, a new destination. Expanding connectivity options for customers, Emirates launched codeshare and interline agreements with 12 airlines in the first six months of 2022-23: Airlink, AEGEAN, ITA Airways, Air Baltic, Air Canada, Bamboo Airways, Batik Air, Finnair, Royal Air Maroc, Sky Express, Sun Country Airlines, and United Airlines.

By September 30, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 140 airports, utilizing its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 73 A380s.

During the first six months of 2022-23, Emirates took delivery of 2 new Boeing 777 freighters and returned 1 older freighter from its fleet as part of its long-standing strategy to minimize its emissions footprint and operate modern, efficient aircraft. With new passenger aircraft only expected to arrive in 2024, Emirates this month began its multi-billion dollar program to retrofit 120 aircraft with its latest cabin interiors and products.

Emirates continued to introduce new product and customer initiatives to deliver on its ‘fly better’ promise, including enhanced menus across all cabin classes, and the launch of a new hospitality program to uplift service training and delivery. In August, Emirates launched its full Premium Economy experience to hugely positive, “booked-out” customer response on its flights to London, Paris and Sydney. Emirates plans to introduce its Premium Economy product on 5 more routes before the end of 2022-23, as more aircraft fitted with these popular seats roll out of its retrofit program.

Emirates Skycargo uplifted 936,000 tonnes in the first six months of the year, a 14 percent decrease compared to the same period last year, as the airline shifted capacity from its “mini-freighters” back to passenger operations.

Emirates’ operating costs increased by 73 percent against an overall capacity growth of 40 percent mainly due to the substantial increase in fuel costs which more than tripled compared to the same period last year.

This was primarily due to a 65 percent higher fuel uplift in line with increased flight operations, and the doubling of average oil prices during this period.

Fuel, which was the largest component of the airline’s operating cost in pre-pandemic reporting cycles, accounted for 38 percent of operating costs, one of the highest ratios ever, compared to 20 percent in the first six months of last year.

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