Emirates’ first half net profit rises 1% to $607 million, overhauls its first Airbus A380

Emirates Group (Dubai) has announced its first half results for 2014:

The Emirates Group has announced its half-yearly results which show steady performance and growth, despite a challenging business environment marked by ongoing health pandemic concerns, regional conflicts, and weakening global markets.

The Emirates Group revenues reached AED 47.5 billion (US$12.9 billion) for the first six months of its 2014-15 fiscal year, up 12% from AED 42.3 billion (US$11.5 billion) from the same period last year.

Net profit for the Group rose to AED 2.2 billion (US$607 million) an increase of 1% over the last year’s results.

The Group’s cash position on September 30, 2014 was at AED 16.1 billion (US$4.4 billion), compared to AED 19.0 billion (US$5.2 billion) as at March 31, 2014. This is due to ongoing investments mainly into new aircraft and other airline related infrastructure projects.

“As the biggest operator at Dubai International, we also took the biggest hit to our bottom line from the 80-day runway upgrading works. However, we had anticipated it and made meticulous plans to minimise impact operationally and commercially for both Emirates and dnata. The success of these plans can be seen in our overall growth during this six-month period in spite of the challenge,” said His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

He added: “It is those external threats that we cannot anticipate or directly manage, such as the global economic malaise, the Ebola outbreak, currency fluctuations, and regional conflicts, that could negate our efforts and plans. These issues appear to be piling up, impacting commercial aviation and travel, but show no signs of speedy resolution. Therefore it is critical that we stay agile as we grow. The ability to adapt and act quickly will determine our continued success.

Moving forward, we will keep a watchful eye on these challenges, but continue to focus on our long-term goals and invest in the infrastructure of both Emirates and dnata.”

In the past six months, the Group continued to develop and expand its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 5% to over 79,000 compared with March 31, 2014.

During the first six months of the fiscal year Emirates received 13 wide-body aircraft – 6 Airbus A380s, 7 Boeing 777s, with 11 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year (March 31, 2015).

Emirates also expanded its global route network by launching services to four new destinations – Abuja, Chicago, Oslo, and Brussels, exponentially increasing the number of city-pair flight options that it provides to customers across the globe with each new city served.

Operating the world’s largest fleet of A380s and the largest fleet of Boeing 777s, Emirates continues to provide ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai. Emirates flies to 146 destinations in 83 countries as of 30 September, up from 137 cities in 77 countries last year.

Against the backdrop of unprecedented external challenges which led the airline to suspend the highest number of routes in a year and temporarily ground part of its fleet due to the runway closure, and despite a strong performance of the US dollar against other major currencies impacting revenues, Emirates continues to make a profit. In the first half of the 2014-15 fiscal year, Emirates net profit is AED 1.9 billion (US$514 million), up 8% from the same period last year.

On average, fuel prices only softened marginally and towards the end of the six-month period. Fuel remained a large component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 38% of operating costs compared with 39% during the first six-month period last year.

In the first half of its financial year 2014-15, Emirates reported continued business growth, both in terms of capacity on offer and traffic carried. Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), grew by 6.5%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKM) was up 9.8% with Passenger Seat Factor increasing and averaging at 81.5%, compared with last year’s 79.2%.

Emirates carried 23.3 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2014, up 8.4% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted was up by 5.4%, a remarkable growth and performance against the market trend.

Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 44.2 billion (US$ 12.0 billion) was higher by 11% compared with AED 39.8 billion (US$10.8 billion) recorded last year, reflecting strong passenger and cargo demand.

Emirates 1st A380 overhaul

In other news Emirates Engineering marked another milestone when the team performed its first 3C-Check on an Airbus A380 (above), a major overhaul that restores the airline’s first A380 aircraft to near pristine condition.

In a round-the-clock operation taking 55 days, two teams of highly specialised engineers stripped the entire interior of the double-decked aircraft to the bare metal hull, inspected and overhauled every single part, and then put the plane components back together again (see video below).

The check was completed with a rigorous test flight before being put back into regular service, in this case, carrying passengers to Brisbane and Auckland.

“The aircraft has been fully overhauled during its 3C-Check. We return it in a pristine condition, just as it originally left the factory,”

Colin Disspain. “It’s like having a brand- new A380 again.”

Emirates was the first airline to place an order for the iconic A380, and is today the world’s largest operator of this efficient and spacious twin-deck aircraft.

The airline’s first A380 (registration A6-EDA – Echo Delta Alpha) (top above) was delivered in June 2008, and deployed on the airline’s inaugural A380 flight from Dubai to New York.

Flight hours, landings and aircraft age determine the due date for a 3C-Check. In this case Echo Delta Alpha had flown an impressive 20 million km, the equivalent of almost 27 return trips to the moon. It has completed over 3,000 take-offs and landings, carrying over 1.2 million passengers safely across the globe.

Months of meticulous planning led up to the C-Check on Echo Delta Alpha. Even though the experienced team of engineers have performed hundreds of C-Checks on the various aircraft of the Emirates fleet, this check was out of the ordinary simply because of the tremendous size of the A380. Operated until a few hours before the check, Echo Delta Alpha was towed into one of the Emirates Engineering hangars at Dubai Airport. Purpose-built for the A380, each hangar is as large as two football fields.

In the first 12 days of the check, over 1,600 parts were removed from the cabin interior including 475 Economy and Business Class seats, 14 First Class private suites, 16 galleys, 2 bars, 2 showers, floor panels and even parts of the cockpit. Every part was inspected and – where required – replaced.

A major part of the operation was the removal of two of the aircraft’s pylons which connect the engine with the aircraft’s wing. Each pylon holds a massive engine which weighs an impressive 6.7 tonnes.
The last two weeks were dedicated to putting all parts back in place with all teams on a tight schedule.

Echo Delta Alpha is one of Emirates’ fleet of 232 aircraft, including 55 A380s. Operating the biggest A380 route network of any commercial airline worldwide, Emirates currently serves 31 airports on 5 continents. To date, the airline’s fleet of A380 aircraft has carried 27.5 million revenue passengers, made over 68,800 trips and covered more than 405 million kilometres.
Its Dubai-Los Angeles route is the world’s longest commercial A380 flight in operation, and its Dubai-Kuwait route is the world’s shortest. By the end of this year, the number of destinations served by an Emirates A380 will increase to 33, with the addition of San Francisco from December 1 and Houston from December 3.

Video below: Emirates overhauls its first Airbus A380:

Finally Emirates will restart passenger flights to Erbil in northern Iraq from November 16, 2014.

Emirates will resume with two weekly flights to Erbil, served by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a 3-class configuration. This will increase to four weekly flights from December 4, 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Emirates Airbus A380, the pictured A380-861 (msn 011) was delivered on July 28, 2008.

Emirates aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show