Category Archives: Emirates Group

IAI to convert Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft to cargo configuration for Emirates

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed an agreement to convert four Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft to cargo configuration for Emirates. The aircraft will be converted at the new site established in Etihad Engineering’s MRO center in Abu Dhabi, and the first conversion of the Emirates plane is expected to begin in early 2023. The agreement has potential to provide passenger-to-freighter conversion services to more aircraft.

Dubai-based Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the world and Emirates SkyCargo is a leading player in the global air cargo industry. This agreement between IAI, the global leader in the cargo conversion industry, and the cargo division of Emirates is a testament to the strong ties between IAI and the UAE.

 

 

Emirates Group reports a half-year net loss of AED 5.7 billion ($1.6 billion)

right side

Emirates Group released this financial report:

  • Group: Revenue up 81% to AED 24.7 billion (US$ 6.7 billion), and loss of AED 5.7 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) after last year’s loss of AED 14.1 billion (US$ 3.8 billion). Substantially improved results reflect recovery across all business segments and easing of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions worldwide.
  • Emirates: Revenue up 86% to AED 21.7 billion (US$ 5.9 billion), and loss of AED 5.8 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) compared to AED 12.6 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) loss for the same period last year. Revenue recovery supported by increasing passenger demand and continuous strong cargo business.
  • dnata: Revenue up 55% to AED 3.7 billion (US$ 1 billion), profit of AED 85 million (US$ 23 million) after last year’s loss of AED 1.5 billion (US$ 396 million), as operations across all dnata business units globally recover from the substantial impact of COVID-19.

 

The Emirates Group today announced its half-year results for its 2021-22 financial year.

Group revenue was AED 24.7 billion (US$ 6.7 billion) for the first six months of 2021-22, up 81% from AED 13.7 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) during the same period last year. This strong revenue recovery was underpinned by the easing of travel restrictions worldwide and the corresponding increase in demand for air transport as countries progressed their COVID-19 vaccination programs.

The Group is reporting a 2021-22 half-year net loss of AED 5.7 billion (US$ 1.6 billion), substantially improved from its AED 14.1 billion (US$ 3.8 billion) loss for the same period last year.

The Group also reported an EBITDA of AED 5.6 billion (US$ 1.5 billion), a dramatic turnaround from a negative AED 43 million (US$ 12 million) EBITDA during the same period last year, illustrating its strong return to operating profitability.

The Group continued to maintain a healthy cash position which stood at AED 18.8 billion (US$ 5.1 billion) on 30 September 2021, compared to AED 19.8 billion (US$ 5.4 billion) as on 31 March 2021.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “As we began our 2021-22 financial year, COVID-19 vaccination programs were being rolled out at unprecedented scale around the world. Across the Group, we saw operations and demand pick up as countries started to ease travel restrictions. This momentum accelerated over the summer and continues to grow steadily into the winter season and beyond.

“Our cargo transport and handling businesses continued to perform strongly, providing the bedrock upon which we were able to quickly reinstate passenger services. While there’s still some way to go before we restore our operations to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the recovery path with healthy revenue and a solid cash balance at the end of our first half of 2021-22.

Sheikh Ahmed added: “We would like to thank our customers for their continued support, as well as all our aviation and travel industry stakeholders and partners for their efforts that have made it possible for international air travel to resume safely and smoothly.”

“Our ability to pivot and pull through the toughest period in our history to date, can be attributed to Emirates’ and dnata’s strong brands, high quality products and services, digital and innovation capabilities, and our amazing people. We intend to continue investing in these core areas to take our business into the future, together with the leaner processes and new technology capabilities that we’ve implemented in the past months.”

The Emirates Group has been able to tap on its own strong cash reserves, and access funding through its Owner and the broader financial community to support its business needs through the unprecedented challenges wrought on the aviation and travel industry by COVID-19. In the first half of 2021-22, its Owner further injected AED 2.5 billion (US$ 681 million) into Emirates by way of an equity investment and they continue to support the airline on its recovery path.

The Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to 31 March 2021, dropped marginally by 2% to an overall count of 73,571 at 30 September 2021. In line with the expected ramp up in capacity and business activities in the coming months, Emirates and dnata have embarked on targeted recruitment drives to support its requirements, prioritizing the rehiring of employees previously on furlough or made redundant.

Emirates airline

During the first six months of 2021-22, Emirates took delivery of 2 new A380s and retired 2 older aircraft from its fleet as part of its long-standing strategy to improve overall efficiency, minimize its emissions footprint, and provide high quality customer experiences.

With a clear focus on restoring its passenger network and connections through its Dubai hub, Emirates responded with agility whenever travel restrictions lifted to restart services or layer on additional flights. In July, it launched services to Miami, a new destination, and during the first half of 2021-22, Emirates also activated codeshare and interline partnerships with Airlink, Aeromar, Azul, Cemair and South African Airways to expand connectivity options for customers.

By September 30, 2021, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 139 airports, utilizing its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 37 A380s.

Emirates also continued to introduce initiatives that improve travel experience, boost customer confidence, and enable secure and efficient operations. In June, Emirates became the first airline to sign up for the worldwide implementation of the IATA Travel Pass, in addition its ongoing investments in additional biometric and other digital verification technologies at Dubai Airport.

For its premium customer and frequent flyers, Emirates reinstated more of its signatures Lounge and Chauffeur Drive services at key airports outside of Dubai, and it also launched an online subscription platform “Skywards+”, to offer its 27 million members easy access to customized rewards and privileges.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased by 66% to 16.3 billion Available Tonne Kilometers (ATKM) due to a substantially expanded flight program as more countries eased travel and flight restrictions. Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASKM), more than tripled by 250%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKM) was up by 335% with average Passenger Seat Factor recovering to 47.9%, compared with last year’s pandemic figure of 38.6%.

Emirates carried 6.1 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2021, up 319% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.1 million tonnes has increased by 39%, which brings the business back to 90% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels by volume handled. This shows Emirates Skycargo’s outstanding agility and ability to meet the requirements of its customers whether it be for the transport of vaccines and pharmaceuticals, essential goods like food and perishables, or champion horses and high performance cars.

In the first half of 2021-22, Emirates Skycargo boosted its pharma cool chain handling infrastructure with the addition of 94 cool room pallet positions to its existing EU GDP compliant infrastructure at Dubai airport. Emirates Skycargo continues to support the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, having carried over 150 million doses through its Dubai hub by July 2021.

In the first half of the 2021-22 financial year, Emirates loss was AED 5.8 billion (US$ 1.6 billion), compared to last year’s loss of AED 12.6 billion (US$ 3.4 billion). Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 21.7 billion (US$ 5.9 billion) was up 86% compared with the AED 11.7 billion (US$ 3.2 billion) recorded during the same period last year. The strong revenue recovery reflects quick return of passenger demand wherever flight and travel restrictions were eased around the world.

Emirates operating costs increased by 22% against an overall capacity growth of 66%. Fuel costs more than doubled compared to the same period last year. This was primarily due to an 81% higher fuel uplift in line with substantially increased flight operations during the six-month period up to end of September, and also an increase in average oil prices. Fuel, which was the largest component of the airline’s operating cost in pre-pandemic reporting cycles, accounted for 20% of operating costs compared to only 11% in the first six months of last year.

Driven by the significant increase in operations during the six months, Emirates’ EBITDA recovered to AED 5.0 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) compared to AED 290 million (US$ 79 million) for the same period last year.

dnata

dnata’s businesses in cargo and ground handling, catering and retail, and travel services saw demand return quickly wherever pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions were eased. Demonstrating the agility and capability of its highly skilled teams, dnata was able to respond quickly to customer needs with high quality services – from supporting its airline customers in reinstating flight operations safely and smoothly, to helping customers book their long-awaited travel plans.

dnata also continued to invest in critical infrastructure to deliver more efficient world class services to its customers. In the first six months of 2021-22, dnata opened a 5,000 square meter workshop dedicated to providing advanced maintenance for airside passenger buses at Dubai airport.

dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, was AED 3.7 billion (US$ 1 billion), a 55% increase compared to AED 2.4 billion (US$ 644 million) last year.

Overall profit for dnata is AED 85 million (US$ 23 million), compared to last year’s loss of AED 1.5 billion (US$ 396 million).

dnata’s airport operations remains the largest contributor to revenue with AED 2.5 billion (US$ 688 million), a 52% increase as compared to the same period last year. Across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata increased sharply by 116% to 222,668, and it handled 1.4 million tonnes of cargo, up 9%.

dnata’s flight catering and retail operation, contributed AED 766 million (US$ 209 million) to its revenue, up 80%. The number of meals uplifted doubled to 16.6 million meals for the first half of the financial year after last year’s 8.3 million.

dnata’s travel division contributed AED 147 million (US$ 40 million) to revenue after AED 95 million (US$ 26 million) for the same period last year, up 55%. The division reported an underlying total transactional value (TTV) sales of AED 726 million (US$ 198 million), after an exceptional negative TTV of AED 246 million (US$ 67 million) for the same period last year which was caused by the significant volumes of refunds and pay-out in cancelled customer bookings at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Top Copyright Photo: Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EEU (msn 147) (Dubai Expo – Oct 2021 – Mar 2022) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 955680.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

Emirates aircraft photo gallery:

Emirates Group loses $6 billion in the past fiscal year, restarts service to Malta

Emirates Group made this announces:

Group records annual loss of AED 22.1 billion (US$6.0 billion) due to COVID-19 pandemic impact, its first non-profitable year in over three decades

  • Group revenue of AED 35.6 billion (US$ 9.7 billion) impacted by worldwide travel restrictions and border closures during the entire financial year
  • Results impacted by one-time impairment charges of AED 1.5 billion on Group’s non-financial assets
  • Ends year with solid cash balance of AED 19.8 billion (US$ 5.4 billion)

Emirates reports a loss of AED 20.3 billion (US$ 5.5 billion) down from AED 1.1 billion (US$ 288 million) profit in the previous year

  • Revenue declined by 66% to AED 30.9 billion (US$ 8.4 billion), due to the temporary suspension of passenger flights at its hub in March 2020 and ongoing global travel restrictions
  • Airline capacity reduced to 24.8 billion ATKMs, with aircraft fleet size reduced by 11 aircraft

dnata reports a loss of AED 1.8 billion (US$ 496 million) down from AED 618 million (US$ 168 million) profit in the previous year

  • Revenue declined by 62% to AED 5.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion), reflecting the pandemic impact across all business divisions in the UAE and worldwide
  • Expands global footprint with the full acquisition of Destination Asia, and the opening of new catering and retail facilities

The Emirates Group today announced its first year of loss in over 30 years caused by a significant drop in revenue, fully attributed to the impact of COVID-19 related flight and travel restrictions throughout its entire financial year 2020-21.

Released in its 2020-21 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a loss of AED 22.1 billion (US$ 6.0 billion) for the financial year ended 31 March 2021 compared with an AED 1.7 billion (US$ 456 million) profit for last year. The Group’s revenue was AED 35.6 billion (US$ 9.7 billion), a decline of 66% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 19.8 billion (US$ 5.4 billion), down 23% from last year mainly due to weak demand caused by the various pandemic related business and travel restrictions across all of the Group’s core business divisions and markets.

For the first time in the Group’s history, redundancies were implemented across all parts of the business. As a result, the Group’s total workforce reduced by 31% to 75,145 employees, representing over 160 different nationalities.

Keeping a tight control on costs, across the Group, financial obligations were restructured, contracts renegotiated, processes examined and operations consolidated. The various cost reduction initiatives returned an estimated saving of AED 7.7 billion during the year.

In 2020-21, the Group collectively invested AED 4.7 billion (US$ 1.3 billion) in new aircraft and facilities, the acquisition of companies, and the latest technologies to position the business for recovery and future growth. It also continued to invest resources towards environmental initiatives, as well as supporting communities and incubator programmes that nurture talent and innovation to drive future industry growth.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “No one knows when the pandemic will be over, but we know recovery will be patchy. Economies and companies that entered pandemic times in a strong position, will be better placed to bounce back. Until 2020-21, Emirates and dnata have had a track record of growth and profitability, based on solid business models, steady investments in capability and infrastructure, a strong drive for innovation, and a deep talent pool led by a stable leadership team. These fundamental ingredients of our success remain unchanged. Together with Dubai’s undiminished ambitions to grow economic activity and build a city for the future, I am confident that Emirates and dnata will recover and be stronger than before.”

He concluded: “In the year ahead, we will continue to adopt an agile approach in responding to the dynamic marketplace. We aim to recover to our full operating capacity as quickly as possible to serve our customers, and to continue contributing to the rebuilding of economies and communities impacted by the pandemic.”

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity declined by 58% to 24.8 billion ATKMs at the end of 2020-21, due to pandemic related flight and travel restrictions including a complete suspension of commercial passenger services for nearly eight weeks as directed by the UAE government from March 25, 2020.

Emirates received three new A380 aircraft during the financial year and phased out 14 older aircraft comprising of 9 Boeing 777-300ERs and 5 A380s, leaving its total fleet count at 259 at the end of March. Emirates’ average fleet age remains at a youthful 7.3 years.

Emirates’ order book for 200 aircraft remains unchanged at this time. The airline is firmly committed to its long-standing strategy of operating a modern and efficient fleet, which underscores its “Fly Better” brand promise, as young aircraft are better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers.

During the year, Emirates reactivated its strategic codeshare partnership with flydubai, and entered into agreements with new partners TAP Air Portugal, FlySafair, and Airlink in South Africa, to expand connectivity for its customers.

From zero scheduled passenger flights at the start of the financial year, to operations in over 120 destinations by March 31, 2021, Emirates has shown its ability to adapt and respond to challenges, and the resilience of its people and business model.

With significantly reduced and constrained capacity deployment across most markets, Emirates’ total revenue for the financial year declined 66% to AED 30.9 billion (US$ 8.4 billion). Currency fluctuations this year had no significant impact on airline revenue.

Total operating costs decreased by 46% from last financial year. Cost of ownership (depreciation and amortization) and employee cost were the two biggest cost components for the airline in 2020-21, followed by fuel, which accounted for 14% of operating costs compared to 31% in 2019-20. The airline’s fuel bill declined by 76% to AED 6.4 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) compared to the previous year, driven primarily by 69% lower uplift in line with capacity reduction.

Due to ongoing pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions, the airline reported a loss of AED 20.3 billion (US$ 5.5 billion) after last year’s AED 1.1 billion (US$ 288 million) profit, and a negative profit margin of 65.6%. This includes a one-time impairment charge of AED 710 million (US$ 193 million) mainly relating to certain aircraft which are currently grounded and are not expected to return to service before their scheduled retirement within the next financial year.

Emirates carried 6.6 million passengers (down 88%) in 2020-21, with seat capacity down by 83%. The airline reports a Passenger Seat Factor of 44.3%, compared with last year’s passenger seat factor of 78.5%; and a 48% increase in passenger yield to 38.9 fils (10.6 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM), due largely to a favourable route mix, fares and continued healthy demand for premium seats. Seat load factor and yield results cannot be compared against the previous year’s performance due to the unusual pandemic situation.

In response to the pandemic, Emirates led the industry in developing new service and operating protocols to protect its customers and employees. During the year, it launched numerous customer initiatives such as: providing the industry’s first complimentary COVID-19 medical cover for all passengers; waiving fees so customers can rebook their travel without penalty; expediting refunds handling; and fast-tracking biometric processing and other technology projects that enhanced the travel experience while reducing contact at airport touchpoints.

Emirates invested to upgrade its signature A380 experience with new Premium Economy seats and other product enhancements. It also launched new technology platforms Emirates Partners Portal and Emirates Gateway, to better engage and serve travel trade partners.

For frequent flyers, Emirates Skywards offered generous extension on Tier status and Miles validity until 2022, and launched various initiatives to help its members earn and redeem rewards even if they are unable to immediately travel.

Emirates SkyCargo put in a stellar performance by rapidly responding to new demand in a changed global marketplace, contributing to 60% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

Emirates SkyCargo quickly scaled up operations and rebuilt its cargo network to meet strong demand from shippers who faced a capacity crunch when the pandemic forced airlines to drastically reduce flights. It supplemented its existing freighter capacity by bringing into service 19 “mini freighters” – modified Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft with seats in the economy cabin removed to make room for more cargo. The cargo division also introduced new loading protocols to safely utilize overhead bins and passenger seats to carry cargo.

In addition to supporting global supply chains for food, medical and other trade items, Emirates SkyCargo also tapped on its pharma capabilities and infrastructure to support the worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and humanitarian relief to Lebanon in the aftermath of the Port of Beirut explosions.

In October, Emirates SkyCargo set up a dedicated GDP-certified airside hub in Dubai for COVID-19 vaccines, and later it partnered with UNICEF to facilitate the rapid transport of COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations through Dubai.

With the strong demand in air freight throughout the year, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 17.1 billion (US$ 4.7 billion), an increase of 53% over last year.

Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) increased strongly by 88%, due to the unique pandemic situation which led to significantly reduced cargo capacity in the market worldwide.

Tonnage carried decreased by 22% to reach 1.9 million tonnes, due to the reduced available bellyhold capacity for the entire year. At the end of 2020-21, Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood unchanged at 11 Boeing 777Fs.

Emirates’ hotels portfolio recorded revenue of AED 296 million (US$ 81 million), a decline of 49% over last year as the events business dried up and facilities had to shut temporarily due to the pandemic.

During the year, Emirates successfully restructured various aircraft leases and loans. The support from aviation lessors and financing partners during these challenging times reflects the financial community’s confidence in Emirates’ business model, and its mid to longer term prospects.

In addition to the AED 14.5 billion financing that was raised for aircraft and general corporate purposes in 2020-21, Emirates has already received committed offers to finance two aircraft deliveries due in 2021-22 and continues to tap the financial market for further liquidity to provide a cushion for the potential impact of COVID-19 on the business cash flows in the near term.

Emirates closed the financial year with cash assets of AED 15.1 billion (US$ 4.1 billion), a position which would have stronger if not for a one-time payout of AED 8.5 billion for customer refunds.

In other news, Emirates resumed three weekly services to Malta via Larnaca, Cyprus, on July 14, 2021, further expanding its European network to 34 destinations, and offering customers worldwide more travel choices and enhanced connectivity via Dubai.

Flights to/from Malta will operate three times weekly through the airline’s existing Larnaca service on its two-class Boeing 777-300ER, offering 42 lie-flat seats in Business and 386 ergonomically designed seats in Economy class.

Emirates Group announces 2019-20 results, warns for this year

All photos by Emirates. Emirates’ grounded fleet at Dubai.

Emirates Group issued this financial report:

Group records 32nd consecutive year of profit of AED 1.7 billion (US$ 456 million)

  • Group revenue of AED 104 billion (US$ 28.3 billion) impacted by planned Dubai International airport (DXB) runway closure in Q1 and COVID-19 pandemic in Q4
  • Ends year with solid cash balance of AED 25.6 billion (US$ 7.0 billion)

Emirates reports a profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$ 288 million), 21% up from the previous year

  • Revenue declines by 6% to AED 92.0 billion (US$ 25.1 billion), impacted by planned 45 days DXB runway closure and temporary suspension of passenger flights in March
  • Airline capacity reduced to 59 billion ATKM with aircraft fleet size unchanged

dnata reports a profit of AED 618 million (US$ 168 million), which includes AED 216 million (US$ 59 million) one-time gain from sale of stake in an IT company, Accelya

  • Revenue increases by 2% to AED 14.8 billion (US$ 4.0 billion), reflecting business growth with international business accounting for 72% of revenue
  • Profit impacted by: goodwill impairments (mainly in Travel) of AED 164 million (US$ 45 million), write-offs due to Thomas Cook failure (Travel & Catering) of AED 96 million (US$ 26 million), and impact of COVID-19 (across all business divisions) AED 274 million (US$ 75 million)
  • Expands global footprint with addition of new facilities and service capabilities across its airport operations, and catering divisions

The Emirates Group today announced its 32nd consecutive year of profit, against a drop in revenue mainly attributed to reduced operations during the planned DXB runway closure in the first quarter, and the impact of flight and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the fourth quarter.

Released today in its 2019-20 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 1.7 billion (US$ 456 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 2020, down 28% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 104.0 billion (US$ 28.3 billion), a decline of 5% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 25.6 billion (US$ 7.0 billion), up 15% from last year mainly due to a strong business performance up to February 2020 and lower fuel cost compared to previous year.

Due to the unprecedented business environment from the ongoing pandemic, and to protect the Group’s liquidity position, the Group has not declared a dividend for this financial year after last year’s dividend of AED 500 million (US$ 136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “For the first 11 months of 2019-20, Emirates and dnata were performing strongly, and we were on track to deliver against our business targets. However, from mid-February things changed rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, causing a sudden and tremendous drop in demand for international air travel as countries closed their borders and imposed stringent travel restrictions.

“Even without a pandemic, our industry has always been vulnerable to a multitude of external factors. In 2019-20, the further strengthening of the US dollar against major currencies eroded our profits to the tune of AED 1.0 billion, global airfreight demand remained soft for most of the year, and competition intensified in our key markets.

“Despite the challenges, Emirates and dnata delivered our 32nd consecutive year of profit, due to healthy demand for our award winning products and services, particularly in the second and third quarters of the year, combined with lower average fuel prices over the year.

“Every year we are tested on our agility and ability. While tackling the immediate challenges and taking advantage of opportunities that come our way, our decisions have always been guided by our long-term goal to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai.”

In 2019-20, the Group collectively invested AED 11.7 billion (US$ 3.2 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and employee initiatives, a decrease following last year’s record investment spend of AED 14.6 billion (US$ 3.9 billion). It also continued to invest resources towards supporting communities, environmental initiatives, as well as incubator programs that nurture talent and innovation to support future industry growth.

At the 2019 Dubai Air Show in November, Emirates placed a US$ 16 billion order for 50 A350 XWBs, and a US$ 8.8 billion order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. With first deliveries expected in 2023, these new aircraft will add to Emirates’ current fleet mix, and provide deployment flexibility within its long-haul hub model. In line with Emirates’ long-standing strategy to operate a modern and efficient fleet, these new aircraft will also keep its fleet age well below the industry average.

dnata’s key investments during the year included: the significant expansion of catering capabilities in North America with the opening of new operations in Vancouver, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. dnata also completed the purchase of the remaining stake in Alpha LSG, to become sole shareholder of the UK’s biggest inflight catering, on-board retail and logistics company.

Across its more than 120 subsidiaries, the Group’s total workforce remained nearly unchanged with 105,730 employees, representing over 160 different nationalities.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “In 2019-20, we were steadfast with our cost discipline while investing to expand our business and revenues opportunities. Through ongoing reviews of our work structures and the implementation of new technology systems, we’ve improved productivity and retarded manpower cost increases. As the pandemic hit, we’ve taken all possible measures to protect our skilled workforce, and ensure the health and safety of our people and our customers. This will remain our top priority as we navigate a gradual return to operations in the coming months.”

He concluded: “The COVID-19 pandemic will have a huge impact on our 2020-21 performance, with Emirates’ passenger operations temporarily suspended since  March 25, and dnata’s businesses similarly affected by the drying up of flight traffic and travel demand all around the world. We continue to take aggressive cost management measures, and other necessary steps to safeguard our business, while planning for business resumption. We expect it will take 18 months at least, before travel demand returns to a semblance of normality. In the meantime, we are actively engaging with regulators and relevant stakeholders, as they work to define standards to ensure the health and safety of travellers and operators in a post-pandemic world. Emirates and dnata stand to reactivate our operations to serve our customers, as soon as circumstances allow.”

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity declined by 8% to 58.6 billion ATKMs at the end of 2019-20, due to the DXB runway closure capacity restrictions and COVID-19 impact with a complete suspension of passenger services as directed by the UAE government during March 2020.

Emirates received six new aircraft during the financial year, all A380s. During 2019-20, Emirates phased out six older aircraft comprising of four Boeing 777-300ERs, its last 777-300 and one Boeing 777 freighter leaving its total fleet count unchanged at 270 at the end of March. Emirates’ average fleet age remains at a youthful 6.8 years.

It reinforces Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet, and live up to its “Fly Better” brand promise as modern aircraft are better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers.

During the year, Emirates launched three new passenger routes: Porto (Portugal), Mexico City (Mexico) and Bangkok-Phnom Penh. It also supplemented its organic network growth with a new codeshare agreement signed with Spicejet that will provide Emirates customers with more connectivity options in India.

Additionally, Emirates expanded its global connectivity and customer proposition through interline agreements with: Vueling, adding connections to over 100 destinations around Europe via Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Milan; with Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus Airline (PC), offering customers connections onto selected routes on PC’s network; and with Interjet Airlines, opening new routes for passengers travelling between Mexico, the Gulf and Middle East and beyond.

Emirates also marked two years of successful strategic partnership with flydubai. Over 5.3 million passengers have benefitted from seamless connectivity on the Emirates and flydubai network since both Dubai-based airlines began their partnership in October 2017.

While Emirates recorded a very strong revenue performance during its 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2019-20, the DXB runway closure and COVID-19 crisis in the other quarters impacted its total revenue for the financial year with a decline of 6% to AED 92.0 billion (US$ 25.1 billion). The relative strengthening of the US dollar against currencies in many of Emirates’ key markets had an AED 963 million (US$ 262 million) negative impact to the airline’s bottom line, a substantial increase compared to the previous year’s negative currency impact of AED 572 million (US$ 156 million).

Total operating costs decreased by 10% over the 2018-19 financial year. The average price of jet fuel declined by 9% during the financial year after last year’s 22% increase. Including a 6% lower uplift in line with capacity reduction, the airline’s fuel billdeclined substantially by 15% over last year to AED 26.3 billion (US$ 7.2 billion) and accounted for 31% of operating costs, compared to 32% in 2018-19. Fuel remained the biggest cost component for the airline.

Despite continued strong competitive pressure and the unfavourable currency impact, the airline reported a profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$ 288 million), an increase of 21% over last year’s results, and a profit margin of 1.1%. Profit would have been higher without a loss of AED 1.1 billion (US$ 299 million) due to fuel hedge ineffectiveness at year end.

Overall passenger traffic declined, as Emirates carried 56.2 million passengers (down 4%). With seat capacity down by 6%, the airline achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 78.5%. The positive development in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 76.8%, reflects the airline’s successful capacity management and positive travel demand across nearly all markets up until the outbreak of COVID-19 in the last quarter.

An increase in market fares and a favourable route mix was completely offset by the strengthening of the US dollar against most currencies and left the passenger yield unchanged at 26.2 fils (7.1 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM).

During the year, Emirates raised a total of AED 9.3 billion (US$ 2.5 billion) in aircraft financing, funded through term loans.

Emirates secured Bpifrance (French Sovereign Export Credit Agency) Assurance Export backed financing that also combined a commercial loan tranche sourced from Korean investors for all six aircraft delivered in 2019-20.

As part of an initiative to reduce costs and benefit from the prevailing global rates environment, Emirates refinanced and repriced more than AED 5.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) in 2019-20, resulting in estimated overall future cost savings in excess of AED 110 million (US$ 30 million).

Emirates’ management have taken several measures to protect the Group’s cash flow through cost saving measures, reductions to discretionary capital expenditure, and engaging with our business partners in improving working capital. Additionally, we have partially drawn existing credit lines before March 31, and are in the process of securing additional lines to further improve the liquidity buffer. In the last quarter of 2019-20, Emirates successfully raised additional liquidity through term loans, revolving credit and short term trade facilities to the tune of AED 4.4 billion (US$ 1.2 billion). It will continue to tap the bank market for further liquidity in the first quarter of 2020-21 to provide a cushion against the impact of COVID-19 on the cash flows in the short term.

Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy level of AED 20.2 billion (US$ 5.5 billion) of cash assets.

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 26.1 billion (US$ 7.1 billion), down 8% from 2018-19. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 24.1 billion (US$ 6.6 billion), down 9%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 14.6 billion (US$ 4.0 billion), up 1%. West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased by 4% to AED 9.8 billion (US$ 2.7 billion). Africa revenue decreased by 4% to AED 8.7 billion (US$ 2.4 billion), whereas Gulf and Middle East revenue decreased by 8% to AED 7.7 billion (US$ 2.1 billion).

Through the year, Emirates introduced product and service improvements on board, on the ground, and online. Highlights include: the launch of Emirates’ first remote check-in terminal at Dubai’s Port Rashid to provide smooth sea-air connections for cruise travellers; the launch of EmiratesRED, our revamped inflight retail offering; and innovative enhancements to the Emirates app as customers increasingly choose to interact with us via their mobile devices.

For frequent flyers, Emirates launched Skywards Exclusives which offers access to the airline’s unique, money-can’t-buy sponsorship experiences; and Skywards Everyday, a location based app that enables members to earn Skywards Miles at more than 1,000 retail, entertainment and dining outlets across the UAE.

Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver a solid performance in a highly competitive market, contributing to 13% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

With the lingering weakness in air freight demand over most of the year, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 11.2 billion (US$ 3.1 billion), a decrease of 14% over last year.

Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM), after two consecutive years of growth, declined by 2%, largely impacted by the reduction in fuel price, and a strong US dollar.

Tonnage carried decreased by 10% to reach 2.4 million tonnes, due to the capacity reduction with the retirement of one Boeing 777 freighter and reduced available bellyhold capacity in the first and last quarters of the year. At the end of 2019-20, Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 11 Boeing 777Fs.

Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products. In October, it launched Emirates Delivers, an e-commerce platform that helps individual customers and small businesses consolidate online purchases in the US and have them delivered in the UAE. More origin and destination markets are being planned in the future, leveraging Dubai as a hub for regional e-commerce fulfilment. During the year, Emirates Skycargo also strengthened its pharma capabilities with the opening of new facilities in Chicago and Copenhagen.

Emirates’ hotels portfolio recorded revenue of AED 584 million (US$ 159 million), a decline of 13% over last year with competition further on the rise in the UAE market impacting average room rates and occupancy levels.

Emirates aircraft photo gallery:

Emirates suspends most passenger operations due to the coronavirus

Emirates has made this announcement:

  • Emirates retains cargo operations, but temporarily suspends most passenger operations by March 25
  • dnata significantly reduces operations, including temporary closure of operations at some international locations where demand is low
  • Group implements basic salary reduction for majority of employees for three months, will not cut jobs
  • Supports government measures to safeguard community health

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Emirates and dnata have been adapting operations in line with regulatory directives as well as travel demand.

The airline has aimed to maintain passenger flights for as long as feasible to help travellers return home amidst an increasing number of travel bans, restrictions, and country lockdowns across the world. It continues to maintain vital international air cargo links for economies and communities, deploying its fleet of 777 freighters for the transport of essential goods including medical supplies across the world.

With many of its airline customers dramatically reducing flights or ceasing services altogether, dnata has also significantly reduced its operations, including temporarily shutting some offices across its international network.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group said: “The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint. Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past 6 weeks.

“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns. By Wednesday March 25, although we will still operate cargo flights which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended most of its passenger operations. We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.”

Having received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers, Emirates will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to the following countries and territories until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, USA, and Canada. The situation remains dynamic, and travellers can check flight status on emirates.com.

Sheikh Ahmed added: “Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”

Cost reduction measures

The Emirates Group has undertaken a series of measures to contain costs, as the outlook for travel demand remains weak across markets in the short to medium term. This includes:

  • Postponing or cancelling discretionary expenditure
  • A freeze on all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work
  • Working with suppliers to find cost savings and efficiency
  • Encouraging employees to take paid or unpaid leave in light of reduced flying capacity
  • A temporary reduction of basic salary for the majority of Emirates Group employees for three months, ranging from 25% to 50%. Employees will continue to be paid their other allowances during this time. Junior level employees will be exempt from basic salary reduction
  • Presidents of Emirates and dnata – Sir Tim Clark and Gary Chapman – will take a 100% basic salary cut for three months

On the decision to reduce basic salary, Sheikh Ahmed said: “Rather than ask employees to leave the business, we chose to implement a temporary basic salary cut as we want to protect our workforce and keep our talented and skilled people, as much as possible. We want to avoid cutting jobs. When demand picks up again, we also want to be able to quickly ramp up and resume services for our customers.”

The Emirates Group has strong liquidity, with a healthy cash position but it is prudent that it take steps to reduce costs at this time. Emirates remains committed to serving its markets and looks forward to resuming a normal flight schedule as soon as that is permitted by the relevant authorities.

Safeguarding customers, employees, and communities

Emirates Group closely monitors the situation and keeps in regular contact with all relevant authorities, so that it can implement the latest guidance to keep travellers and its employees safe and healthy.

The company has strongly discouraged its employees from non-essential travel, implemented work from home policies for all employees where operationally feasible, enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols at its facilities, introduced temperature screening at its key office entry points, and launched internal educational campaigns on hand hygiene and health practices to reduce risk of COVID-19.

Over the past weeks, the airline has also implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures on all of its aircraft departing Dubai as a precaution, and worked closely with airports to implement screening measures as required by the local authorities.

Frontline employees such as crew and airport teams have also been provided with support to stay safe while on duty, including providing hand sanitizers and masks where required.

The Emirates Group fully supports all initiatives to safeguard the health of communities in every market where it operates, including the UAE’s national COVID-19 response.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “These are unprecedented times for the airline and travel industry, but we will get through it. Our business is taking a hit, but what matters in the long run is that we do the right thing for our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve. With the support and unity that we have seen from our employees, partners, customers, and other stakeholders, I’m confident that Emirates can tackle this challenge and come out stronger.”

Emirates aircraft photo gallery:

Emirates Group announces half-year performance for 2019-20, with AED 1.2 billion profit, 7.9% increase in passengers carried to Dubai

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EUA (msn 211) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 948121.

Emirates Group has issued this statement:

The Emirates Group has announced its half-year results for its 2019-20 financial year.

Group revenue was AED 53.3 billion (US$ 14.5 billion) for the first six months of 2019-20, down 2% from AED 54.4 billion (US$ 14.8 billion) during the same period last year. This slight revenue decline was mainly due to planned capacity reductions during the 45-day Southern Runway closure at Dubai International airport (DXB), and unfavourable currency movements in Europe, Australia, South Africa, India, and Pakistan.

Profitability was up 8% compared to the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2019-20 half-year net profit of AED 1.2 billion (US$ 320 million). The profit improvement was primarily due to the decline in fuel prices of 9% compared to the same period last year, however the gain from lower fuel costs were partially offset by negative currency movements.

The Group’s cash position on 30th September 2019 stood at AED 23.0 billion (US$ 6.3 billion), compared to AED 22.2 billion (US$ 6.0 billion) as at 31st March 2019.

  • Group: Revenue down 2% to AED 53.3 billion (US$ 14.5 billion), and profit of AED 1.2 billion (US$ 320 million), up 8%. Results impacted by Dubai International Airport (DXB) runway closure, decline in fuel cost, unfavourable currency movements, and bankruptcy of Thomas Cook.
  • Emirates: Revenue down 3% to AED 47.3 billion (US$ 12.9 billion), and profit increase of 282% to AED 862 million (US$ 235 million). Improved seat load factor of 81.1%, up 2.3%pts, with 29.6 million passengers carried. Dubai’s strong attraction as a destination sees the airline carrying 7.9% more customers to its hub city compared to same period last year.
His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group

“The Emirates Group delivered a steady and positive performance in the first half of 2019-20, by adapting our strategies to navigate the tough trading conditions and social-political uncertainty in many markets around the world. Both Emirates and dnata worked hard to minimise the impact of the planned runway renovations at DXB on our business and on our customers. We also kept a tight rein on controllable costs and continued to drive efficiency improvement, while ensuring that our resources were deployed nimbly to capitalise on areas of opportunity.

“The lower fuel cost was a welcome respite as we saw our fuel bill drop by AED 2.0 billion compared to the same period last year. However, unfavourable currency movements wiped off approximately AED 1.2 billion from our profits.

“The global outlook is difficult to predict, but we expect the airline and travel industry to continue facing headwinds over the next six months with stiff competition adding downward pressure on margins. As a Group we remain focussed on developing our business, and we will continue to invest in new capabilities that empower our people, and enable us to offer even better products, services, and experiences for our customers.”

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group

The Emirates Group’s employee base remained unchanged compared to 31 March 2019, at an overall average staff count of 105,315. This is in line with the company’s planned capacity and business activities, and also reflects the various internal programmes to improve efficiency through the implementation of new technology and workflows.

Emirates airline

During the first six months of 2019-20, Emirates received 3 Airbus A380s, with 3 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the 2019-20 financial year. It also retired 6 older aircraft from its fleet with a further 2 to be returned by 31 March 2020. The airline’s long-standing strategy to invest in the most advanced wide-body aircraft enables it to improve overall efficiency, minimise its emissions footprint, and provide high quality customer experiences.

Emirates continues to offer ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai. In the first six months of its financial year, Emirates added two new passenger routes: Dubai-Bangkok-Phnom Penh, and Dubai-Porto (Portugal). As of 30 September, Emirates’ global network spanned 158 destinations in 84 countries. Its fleet stood at 267 aircraft including freighters.

Emirates also further developed its partnership with flydubai. Both airlines continued to leverage their complementary networks to optimise flight schedules and offer new city-pair connections through Dubai, as well as open new routes including Naples (Italy) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in the first half of 2019-20. Customers also enjoy even more benefits with a single loyalty programme under Emirates Skywards, and passengers connecting between Emirates and flydubai can experience seamless transits with 22 flydubai flights now operating from Emirates Terminal 3 at DXB.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year declined by 7% to 29.7 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) mainly due to the DXB runway closure and reduction in fleet during this 45-day period. Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), shrunk by 5%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was down by 2% with average Passenger Seat Factor rising to 81.1%, compared with last year’s 78.8%.

Emirates carried 29.6 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2019, down 2% from the same period last year, however, passenger yield increased by 1% period-on-period. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.2 million tonnes has decreased by 8% while yield declined by 3%. This reflects the tough business environment for air freight in the context of global trade tensions and unrest in some key cargo markets.

In the first half of the 2019-20 financial year, Emirates net profit was AED 862 million (US$ 235 million), up 282%, compared to last year. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 47.3 billion (US$ 12.9 billion) was down 3% compared with the AED 48.9 billion (US$ 13.3 billion) recorded during the same period last year. This result was driven by increased agility in capacity deployment, with healthy customer demand for Emirates’ products driving improved seat load factors and better margins.

Emirates operating costs shrunk by 8% against the overall capacity decrease of 7%. On average, fuel costs were 13% lower compared to the same period last year, this was largely due to a decrease in oil prices (down 9% compared to same period last year), as well as a lower fuel uplift due to reduced capacity during 45-day runway closure at DXB. Fuel remained the largest component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 32% of operating costs compared with 33% in the first six months of last year.

Top Copyright Photo: Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EUA (msn 211) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 948121.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

Emirates Group announces its 2018-19 results

Emirates Group recorded its 31st consecutive year of profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$631 million)

  • Strong business growth leading to a record revenue of more than AED 109 billion (US$ 29.8 billion)
  • Solid cash balance of AED 22.2 billion (US$6.0 billion)
  • Declares a dividend of AED 500 million (US$136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Emirates reports a profit of AED 871 million (US$237 million), 69% down from the previous year

  • Revenue increases by 6% to AED 97.9 billion (US$26.7 billion), supported by steady passenger and cargo performance
  • Airline capacity crosses 63 billion ATKM with a net addition of 2 new aircraft to the fleet

dnata makes record profit of AED 1.4 billion (US$394 million), which includes AED 321 million (US$ 88 million) gain from one-time sale of HRG stake

  • Revenue increases by 10% to AED 14.4 billion (US$3.9 billion), reflecting further business expansion with international business now accounting for 70% of revenue
  • Expands global footprint with acquisition of Qantas catering in Australia and 121 Inflight catering business in the Americas, adds new facilities and service capabilities across its airport operations, catering, and travel services divisions

The Emirates Group on May 9 announced its 31st consecutive year of profit and steady business expansion.

Released today in its 2018-19 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$631 million) for the financial year ended March 31, 2019, down 44% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 109.3 billion (US$29.8 billion), an increase of 7% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 22.2 billion (US$6.0 billion), down 13% from last year mainly due to large investments into the business, including significant acquisitions and payment of last year’s AED 2 billion (US$ 545 million) dividend.

In line with the overall profit, the Group declared a dividend of AED 500 million (US$136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai for 2018-19.

His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked. Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, even as competition intensified in our key markets. The uptick in global airfreight demand from the previous year appears to have gone into reverse gear, and we also saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.

“Every business cycle is different, and we continue to work smart and hard to tackle the challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments. In 2018-19, Emirates and dnata delivered our 31st consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and invested in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”

In 2018-19, the Group collectively invested AED 14.6 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives, a significant increase over last year’s investment spend of AED 9.0 billion (US$ 2.5 billion).

In February, Emirates announced a commitment for 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s worth US$ 21.4 billion at list prices in an agreement signed with Airbus, to be delivered from 2021 and 2024 respectively. The airline will also receive 14 more A380 deliveries from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order book to 123 units.

dnata’s key investments during the year included: the acquisitions of Q Catering and Snap Fresh in Australia, and 121 Inflight Catering in the US; the buy-out of shares to become the owner of Dubai Express, Freightworks LLC; and a 51% majority stakeholder of Bolloré Logistics LLC, UAE; the build of new cargo and pharma handling facilities in Belgium, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and Pakistan; the acquisition of German tour operator Tropo, and a majority stake in BD4travel, a company providing artificial intelligence driven IT solutions in the travel sector.

Across its more than 120 subsidiaries, the Group’s total workforce increased by 2% to 105,286, representing over 160 different nationalities, mainly influenced by dnata’s new acquisitions and its international business expansion.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “In 2018-19, we were steadfast with our cost discipline while expanding our business and growing revenues. By slowing the recruitment of non-operational roles, and implementing new technology systems and new work structures, we’ve improved productivity and retarded manpower cost increases.”

He concluded: “It’s hard to predict the year ahead, but both Emirates and dnata are well positioned to navigate speed bumps, as well as to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. We must continually up our game, that’s why we invest in our people, technology, and infrastructure to help us maintain our competitive edge. As a responsible business, we also invest resources towards supporting communities, conservation and environmental initiatives, as well as incubating talent and innovation that will propel our industry in the future.”

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity crossed the 63 billion mark, to 63.3 billion ATKMs at the end of 2018-19, cementing its position as the world’s largest international carrier. The airline moderately increased capacity during the year over 2017-18 by 3%, with a focus on yield improvement.

Emirates received 13 new aircraft during the financial year, comprising of seven A380s and six Boeing 777-300ERs, including the last 777-300ER on its order book. The next 777 delivery is planned for 2020, when Emirates receives its first 777X aircraft.

During 2018-19, Emirates phased out 11 older aircraft, bringing its total fleet count to 270 at the end of March. This fleet roll-over involving 24 aircraft was again one of the largest managed in a year, keeping Emirates’ average fleet age at a youthful 6.1 years.

It reinforces Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet, and live up to its “Fly Better” brand promise as modern aircraft are better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers.

During the year, Emirates launched three new passenger destinations: London Stansted (UK), Santiago (Chile) and Edinburgh (Scotland), and reinstated services to Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey). It also added flight capacity to 14 existing destinations and upgraded capacity to six cities, offering customers more choice of flight timings and onward connections.

Supplementing its organic network growth, Emirates expanded its global connectivity and customer proposition through new codeshare agreements signed with Jetstar Pacific and China Southern Airlines. It also enhanced its commercial strategic partnership with South African Airways.

The Emirates-flydubai partnership continued to develop, with Emirates customers now able to access 67 more destinations served by flydubai, and enjoy greater connectivity with 11 flydubai flights operating from Emirates Terminal 3. The partnership alignment also saw Emirates Skywards become the loyalty programme for both Emirates and flydubai.

Despite stiff competition across its key markets, Emirates increased its revenue by 6% to AED 97.9 billion (US$ 26.7 billion). The relative strengthening of the US dollar against currencies in many of Emirates’ key markets had an AED 572 million (US$ 156 million) negative impact to the airline’s bottom line, a stark contrast to the previous year’s positive currency impact of AED 661 million (US$ 180 million).

Total operating costs increased by 8% over the 2017-18 financial year. The average price of jet fuel climbed by a further 22% during the financial year after last year’s 15% increase. Including a 3% higher uplift in line with capacity increase, the airline’s fuel bill increased substantially by 25% over last year to AED 30.8 billion (US$ 8.4 billion). This is the biggest-ever fuel bill for the airline, accounting for 32% of operating costs, compared to 28% in 2017-18. Fuel remained the biggest cost component for the airline.

Against a backdrop of high fuel prices, strong competitive pressure, and unfavourable currency impact, the airline reported a profit of AED 871 million (US$ 237 million), a decline of 69% over last year’s results, and a profitmargin of 0.9%.

Overall passenger traffic remained steady, as Emirates carried 58.6 million passengers (up 0.2%). With seat capacity increasing by 4%, the airline achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 76.8%. The slight decline in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 77.5%, reflects the impact of slowing regional economies on travel demand, and strong competition in many markets.

An increase in market fares and a favourable class mix helped support a passenger yield increase of more than 3% to 26.2 fils (7.1 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM), although the full impact was partly offset by the strengthening of the US dollar against most currencies.

During the year, Emirates raised AED 14.2 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) to fund its fleet growth, using a combination of term loans, finance and operating leases.

Testament to the increasing depth of the Japanese structured financing market for Emirates, all six 777-300ER aircraft delivered were financed via a Japanese Operating Lease with a Call Option (JOLCO) raising funding of more than US$ 1 billion. Emirates has now raised over AED 28 billion (US$ 7.6 billion) from the Japanese structured financing market since 2014.

A US$ 600 million corporate Sukuk issued in March 2018 financed 2 A380 deliveries; and the remaining 5 A380 aircraft were taken on a mix of operating lease, Export Credit Agency (ECA) backed finance leases, and finance leases arranged from institutional investors and bank base from Korea, Germany, UK and Middle East.

These deals demonstrate Emirates’ ability to unlock diverse financing sources through access to global liquidity, underscoring its sound financials and the strong investor confidence in the airline’s business model.

Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy level of AED 17.0 billion (US$ 4.6 billion) of cash assets.

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 28.3 billion (US$ 7.7 billion), up 6% from 2017-18. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 26.6 billion (US$ 7.2 billion), up 5%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 14.5 billion (US$ 3.9 billion), up 8%. Africa revenue increased by 9% to AED 10.2 billion (US$ 2.8 billion), whereas Gulf and Middle East revenue decreased by 3% to AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion). West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased by 6% to AED 8.1 billion (US$ 2.2 billion).

Through the year, Emirates introduced product and service improvements on board, on the ground, and online.

Highlights include: the completion of a US$ 150 million programme to refurbish its entire Boeing 777-200LR fleet with new, wider Business Class seats and a fully refreshed Economy Class cabin; the launch of the Emirates Vintage Collection featuring fine wines that have been stored for 15 years; and new luxury products in First and Business Class developed in collaboration with brands like Bowers & Wilkins, Bulgari and BYREDO.

On the ground, Emirates introduced a new service so customers in Dubai can check-in for their flights from their homes, hotel or office, and have their luggage transported prior to their flight; it added a new dedicated lounge in Cairo and refurbished the existing Emirates Lounges in New York and Rome; and launched pilot trials for the world’s first ‘biometric path’ at Dubai airport utilising the latest biometric technology to ease Emirates passengers through check-in, immigration formalities, and boarding.

Online, Emirates became the first airline to launch 3D seat models using web-based virtual reality technology, allowing customers to preview its onboard product and select seats. It also launched a new feature on its mobile app, so customers can browse the thousands of movies, music and shows on offer, create personal playlists before they fly, and then sync from their devices to their personal seatback screens when they board.

Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver a strong performance in a highly competitive market with dampening demand, contributing to 14% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

In an airfreight market facing unrelenting downward pressure on yields and slowing demand, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 13.1 billion (US$ 3.6 billion), an increase of 5% over last year, while tonnagecarried slightly increased by 1% to reach 2.7 million tonnes.

Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) for the 2nd consecutive year increased by a further 3%, demonstrating Emirates SkyCargo’s ability to retain and win customers on value despite fuel price increases, and a weakened demand in many markets.

Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 12 Boeing 777Fs. In addition to belly-hold capacity to Emirates’ new passenger destinations, Emirates SkyCargo launched a new freighter service to Bogota (Columbia), and resumed freighter services to Erbil (Iraq).

Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products tailored to key industry sectors. In April, it launched Emirates AOG, a new airfreight product designed to transport aircraft parts quickly across the globe. This was followed in August by the launch of Emirates Pets and Emirates Pets Plus, which are new and enhanced air transportation products to ensure the safety and comfort of pets with services such as veterinary checks, document clearances, door-to-door transport, and the booking of return flights for pets.

Emirates’ hotels recorded revenue of AED 669 million (US$ 182 million), a decline of 10% over last year with competition further on the rise in the UAE market impacting average room rates and occupancy levels.

Emirates Group announces half-year performance for 2018-19

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDD (msn 020) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 944350.

  • Group: Revenue up 10% to AED 54.4 billion (US$14.8 billion), and profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$296 million), down 53%. Results impacted by significant increase in fuel cost, unfavourable currency movements, and one-time transaction in dnata.
  • Emirates: Revenue up 10% to AED 48.9 billion (US$13.3 billion), and profit decline of 86% to AED 226 million (US$62 million). 30.1 million passengers carried, up 3%, on overall capacity expansion of 3%. Dubai’s attraction as a destination remains strong with the airline carrying 9% more customers to its hub city.
  • dnata: Revenue up 11% to AED 7.0 billion (US$1.9 billion), profit up 31% to AED 861 million (US$235 million) includes gain of AED 320 million from one-time transaction. Without this transaction, the profit recorded would be down 18% compared to last year. 350,052 aircraft handled, up 6%, 1.5 million tonnes of cargo handled, up 2%.

The Emirates Group has announced its half-year results for 2018-19. The Group saw steady revenue growth compared to the same period last year, however profits were impacted by the significant rise in oil prices, and unfavourable currency movements in certain markets, amidst other challenges for the airline and travel industry.

The Emirates Group revenue was AED 54.4 billion (US$ 14.8 billion) for the first six months of its 2018-19 financial year, up 10% from AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion) during the same period last year.

Profitability was down 53% compared to the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2018-19 half-year net profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$296 million). The profit erosion was primarily due to the significant increase in fuel prices of 37% compared to the same period last year, as well as the negative impact of currencies in certain markets.

The Group’s cash position on September 30, 2018 was at AED 21.5 billion (US$ 5.9 billion), compared to AED 25.4 billion (US$6.9 billion) as at 31st March 2018.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “Emirates and dnata grew steadily in the first half of 2018-19. Demand for our high quality products and services remained healthy, as we won new and return customers across our businesses and this is reflected in our revenue performance. However, the high fuel cost as well as currency devaluations in markets like India, Brazil, Angola and Iran, wiped approximately AED 4.6 billion from our profits.

“We are proactively managing the myriad challenges faced by the airline and travel industry, including the relentless downward pressure on yields, and uncertain economic and political realities in our region and in other parts of the world. We are keeping a tight rein on controllable costs and will continue to drive efficiency improvement through the implementation of new technology and business processes.

“The next six months will be tough, but the Emirates Group’s foundations remain strong. I’m pleased to note that our home and hub in Dubai continues to attract travel demand, as the airline saw 9% more customers enjoying Dubai as a destination in the first half of 2018-19 compared to the same period last year. We expect this demand to remain healthy as new attractions come online and the city gears up for Dubai Expo 2020. Moving forward we are firmly focussed on sustaining our business. We will do this by being agile to capitalise on opportunities, and investing to serve our customers even better with high quality products that they value.”

In the past six months, the Group’s employee base reduced by 1% compared to 31 March 2018, from an overall average staff count of 103,363 to 101,983. This was largely a result of natural attrition, together with a slower pace of recruitment as the business continues its various internal programmes to improve efficiency through the implementation of new technology and workflows.

Emirates Airline

During the first six months of 2018-19, Emirates received 8 wide-body aircraft – 3 Airbus A380s, and 5 Boeing 777s, with 5 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year. It also retired 7 older aircraft from its fleet with further 4 to be returned by March 31, 2019. The airline’s long-standing strategy to invest in the most advanced wide-body aircraft enables it to improve overall efficiency and provide better customer experiences.

Emirates continues to offer ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai.

In the first six months of its financial year, Emirates launched new passenger services to Stansted (UK) and Santiago (Chile).  It also introduced a new linked service from Dubai via Bali to Auckland. As of 30 September, Emirates’ global network spanned 161 destinations in 85 countries. Its fleet stood at 269 aircraft including freighters.

Emirates further developed its partnership with flydubai, offering customers even more benefits as both airlines combined their loyalty programme under Emirates Skywards.  Customers also enjoy new flight choices as Emirates and flydubai continued to leverage their complementary networks to optimise flight schedules and offer new city-pair connections through Dubai, as well as open new routes including Kinshasa (Congo), Krakow (Poland), and Catania (Italy) in the first half of 2018-19.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased a modest 3% to 31.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM). Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), grew by 4%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up 6% with average Passenger Seat Factor rising to 78.8%, compared with last year’s 77.2%.

Emirates carried 30.1 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2018, up 3% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.3 million tonnes is largely unchanged while yield improved by a healthy 11% .This performance is the result of Emirates SkyCargo’s focussed investments in products and services tailored to key sectors, which gives it a strong competitive edge in a recovering global air freight market.

In the first half of the 2018-19 financial year, Emirates net profit is AED 226 million (US$62 million), down 86%, compared to last year. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 48.9 billion (US$ 13.3 billion) was up 10% compared with the AED 44.5 billion (US$ 12.1 billion) recorded during the same period last year. This result was driven by increased agility in capacity deployment, and improved seat load factors despite fare increases reflect the healthy customer demand for Emirates’ products.

Emirates operating costs grew by 13% against the overall capacity increase of 3%. On average, fuel costs were 42% higher compared to the same period last year, this was largely due to an increase in oil prices (up 37% compared to same period last year), as well as an increase in fuel uplift of 4% due to Emirates’ expanding fleet operations. Fuel remained the largest component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 33% of operating costs compared with 26% in the first six months of last year.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Emirates): Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDD (msn 020) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 944350.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

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Emirates announces a yearly profit of $1.1 billion

Emirates' 2018 "Expo 2020 Dubai UAE"

Emirates Group made this announcement on its financial performance for the past fiscal year:

The Emirates Group on May 9, 2018 announced its 30th consecutive year of profit and steady business expansion.

Released today in its 2017-18 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 4.1 billion (US$1.1 billion) for the financial year ended March 31, 2018, up 67% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 102.4 billion (US$27.9.billion), an increase of 8% over last year’s results, and the Group’s cash balance increased by 33% to AED 25.4 billion (US$6.9 billion) supported by the bond issued in March and strong sales due to the early Easter holidays at the end of March.

In line with the overall profit, the Group declared a dividend of AED 2.0 billion (US$ 545 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Business conditions in 2017-18, while improved, remained tough. We saw ongoing political instability, currency volatility and devaluations in Africa, rising oil prices which drove our costs up, and downward pressure on margins from relentless competition. On the positive side, we benefitted from a healthy recovery in the global air cargo industry, as well as the relative strengthening of key currencies against the US dollar.

“We’ve always responded to the challenges of each business cycle with agility, while never losing sight of the future, and this year was no exception. In 2017-18, Emirates and dnata delivered our 30th consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and continued to invest in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”

In 2017-18, the Group collectively invested AED 9.0 billion (US$2.5 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives.

Emirates announced two significant commitments for new aircraft during the year: a US$15.1 billion agreement for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners which will be delivered from 2022, and a US$16 billion agreement for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, including 16 options.

DNATA’s key investments during the year included: acquisition of AirLogistix USA, marking its entry in the US cargo market; expansion of cargo handling capabilities with new warehouses and equipment at London Gatwick, Amsterdam-Schiphol, and Adelaide; new catering facilities in Dublin and Melbourne; and new marhaba lounges in Karachi and Melbourne.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “While expanding our business and growing revenues, we also tightened our cost discipline. Across the Group, we progressed various initiatives to rebuild and streamline our back office operations with new technology, systems and processes. In 2017-18, our reduced recruitment activity, coupled with restructured ways of working gave us gains in productivity, and a slowdown in manpower cost increases.”

Across its more than 80 subsidiaries, the Group’s total workforce declined by 2% to 103,363, representing over 160 different nationalities, as part of the overall productivity improvement initiatives in Emirates and dnata.

Sheikh Ahmed concluded: “Looking ahead, Emirates and dnata remain focussed on delivering safe, efficient and high quality services consistently to our customers. Our ongoing investments in our people, technology, and infrastructure will help us maintain our competitive edge, and ensure that we are ready to meet the opportunities and stay on course for sustainable and profitable growth.”

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity crossed the 61 billion mark, to 61.4 billion ATKMs at the end of 2017-18, cementing its position as the world’s largest international carrier. The airline moderately increased capacity during the year over 2016-17 by 2%, with a focus on yield improvement.

Emirates received 17 new aircraft, after last year’s record number during a financial year, comprising of eight A380s and nine Boeing 777-300ERs. At the same time, eight older aircraft were phased out, bringing its total fleet count to 268 at the end of March. This fleet roll-over involving 25 aircraft was again one of the largest managed in a year, keeping Emirates’ average fleet age at a youthful 5.7 years.

It underscores Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet which is better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers. The airline remains the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 and A380 – both aircraft being amongst the most modern and efficient wide-bodied jets in the sky today.

During the year, Emirates launched two new passenger destinations: Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Zagreb (Croatia). It also added flight capacity to 15 existing destinations, offering customers more choice of flight timings and onward connections.

Emirates also grew its global connectivity and customer proposition through strategic partnerships. During 2017-18, Emirates entered into significant partnerships with flydubai and Cargolux, expanding the choice of air services on offer to passenger and cargo customers respectively. Emirates also received authorisation to extend its partnership with Qantas until 2023.

In spite of political challenges impacting traveller demand and fare adjustments due to a highly competitive business environment, Emirates managed to increase its revenue to AED 92.3 billion (US$ 25.2 billion). The decline of the US dollar against currencies in most of Emirates’ key markets for the first time in a number of years had an AED 661 million (US$ 180 million) positive impact to the airline’s bottom line.

Total operating costs increased by 7% over the 2016-17 financial year. The average price of jet fuel increased sharply by 15% during the financial year. Including a 3% higher uplift in line with capacity increase, the airline’s fuel billincreased substantially by 18% over last year to AED 24.7 billion (US$ 6.7 billion). Fuel is now 28% of operating costs, compared to 25% in 2016-17, and it remained the biggest cost component for the airline.

The airline successfully managed strong competitive pressure across all markets and increased its profit to AED 2.8 billion (US$ 762 million), an increase of 124% over last year’s results, and a profit margin of 3.0%.

Overall passenger traffic growth continues to demonstrate the consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft, and via efficient routings through its Dubai hub.

Emirates carried a record 58.5 million passengers (up 4%), and achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 77.5%. The increase in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 75.1%, is a result of successful capacity management in response to political uncertainty and strong competition in many markets despite a moderate 2% increase in seat capacity.

Supported by the weakening of the USD against most currencies, passenger yield increased to 25.3 fils (6.9 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM).

To fund its fleet growth during the year with high ongoing new aircraft deliveries, Emirates raised AED 17.9 billion (US$4.9 billion), using a variety of financing structures, including the successful execution of a US$ 600 million sukuk in March to fund the acquisition of two A380 aircraft to be delivered in 2018.

Emirates continues to tap the Japanese structured finance market in conjunction with debt from a wide-ranging group of institutions in China, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The company raised in excess of AED 3.7 billion (US$ 1 billion) during the year from this source. Emirates has also refinanced a commercial bridge facility (due to non-availability of ECA cover) of AED 3.8 billion (US$ 1.0 billion) via an innovative finance lease structure for five A380-800 aircraft, accessing an institutional investor and bank market base from Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

These deals align with Emirates’ financing strategy and demonstrates its ability to unlock diverse financing sources through access to global liquidity. It also underscores its sound financials and the strong investor confidence in the airline’s business model.

Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy and increased level of AED 20.4 billion (US$ 5.6 billion) of cash assets.

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 26.7 billion (US$ 7.3 billion), up 12% from 2016-17. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 25.4 billion (US$ 6.9 billion), up 12%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 13.4 billion (US$ 3.7 billion), up 7%. Gulf and Middle East revenue decreased by 2% to AED 8.5 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) whereas revenue for Africa increased by 8% to AED 9.4 billion (US$ 2.6 billion). West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased by 5% to AED 7.8 billion (US$ 2.1 billion).

Through the year, Emirates introduced product and service improvements on board and on the ground.

Key highlights include: the launch of fully-enclosed suites in First Class together with refreshed Business Class and Economy Class cabins on the 777-300ER aircraft; new, wider Business Class seats arranged in a 2-2-2 layout on the 777-200LR aircraft; and a refreshed version of the popular Onboard Lounge on the Emirates A380.

On the ground, Emirates added a new dedicated lounge in Boston for its premium passengers and frequent flyers; refurbished existing lounges in Singapore and Bangkok, and completed a US$ 11 million makeover of its lounges in Dubai airport Concourse B.

Emirates also invested in new channels and technology to offer even better and more personalised customer experiences online, on mobile, as well as via its retail and contact centres.

For 2018-19, Emirates has announced new routes to London Stansted in the UK, Santiago in Chile, Edinburgh in Scotland, and an additional flight between Dubai and Auckland via Bali, aside from capacity upgrades to existing destinations.

Emirates SkyCargo recorded a strong performance in a resurgent market, and continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations, contributing 14% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

In an airfreight market with fast-changing demand patterns, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 12.4 billion (US$ 3.4 billion), an impressive increase of 17% over last year, while tonnage carried slightly increased by 2% to reach 2.6 million tonnes.

This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) increased by 14%, reflecting a very positive market environment for the industry, and the weakening of the USD against major currencies.

Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 13 Boeing 777Fs. In addition to belly-hold capacity to Emirates’ new passenger destinations, Emirates SkyCargo launched new freighter services to Maastricht (Netherlands), Luxembourg, and Aguadilla (Puerto Rico).

Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products tailored to key industry sectors. In November, it signed an MoU with Dubai CommerCity to develop new solutions for the e-commerce sector using Dubai as a hub.

During the year, Emirates SkyCargo launched Emirates Fresh for perishable commodities such as fresh cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. For temperature-sensitive Pharma products, Emirates SkyCargo rolled out a pharma corridors programme to offer enhanced origin-to-destination protection, and it also partnered with DuPont to introduce White Cover Xtreme, a next generation thermal blanket to protect sensitive cargo.

Emirates’ hotels recorded revenue of AED 746 million (US$ 203 million), a moderate increase of 1% over last year in a highly competitive market mainly in the UAE.

DNATA performance

In its 59 years of operation, 2017-18 has been dnata’s most profitable year, crossing AED 1.3 billion (US$ 359 million) profit for the first time. Building on its strong results in the previous year, dnata’s revenue grew to AED 13.1 billion (US$ 3.6 billion), up 7%. dnata’s international business now accounts for 68% of its revenue.

The strong performance was achieved through organic growth with key contract wins coupled with solid customer retention across its four business divisions, as well as the impact of acquisitions from previous year.

dnata continued to lay the foundations for future growth by investing AED 600 million in new facilities and equipment, acquisitions, leading-edge technologies and people development.

One of its key initiatives in 2017-18 was to embark on the journey to implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that will transform its business support functions, and provide real time information to enable better decision making, governance, efficiency and scalability for continued growth and expansion.

In 2017-18, dnata’s operating costs increased accordingly by 8% to AED 11.9 billion (US$ 3.2 billion), reflecting the impact of organic growth across all lines of business coupled with integrating the newly acquired companies mainly across its international airport operations.

dnata’s cash balance reached AED 4.9 billion (US$ 1.3 billion), a new record high. The business delivered an AED 1.9 billion (US$ 506 million) cash flow from operating activities in 2017-18, which is also a new record in line with the enhanced cash balance.

Revenue from DNATA’s UAE Airport Operations, including ground and cargo handling increased by 4% to reach AED 3.2 billion (US$ 859 million).

The number of aircraft movements handled by dnata in the UAE declined by 2% to 211,000 impacted by the geopolitical situation in the region, whereas Cargo handling increased by 2% to 731,000 tons, supported by the strong overall air cargo market.

In addition to the steady delivery of initiatives started in 2014 to optimise its operations, covering facility improvements, process changes, infrastructure upgrades and IT development, dnata also successfully tested the use of blockchain technology to further streamline and simplify its cargo delivery processes from origin to final destination.

DNATA’s International Airport Operations division grew revenue by 14% to AED 3.8 billion (US$1.0 billion), on account of increasing business volumes, opening of new locations and winning new contracts.

International airport operations continue to represent the largest business segment in dnata by revenue contribution. The number of aircraft handled by the division further increased substantially by 10% to 449,000, and Cargo noted a substantial growth of 10% to 2.4 million tonnes of handled goods.

DNATA continued to win over customers with its high quality standards, inking over 90 contracts with new and existing customers during the year.

During the year, dnata made significant investments which expanded its capability and global presence. In May, DNATA entered the US cargo market with its acquisition of AirLogistix USA. The investment includes state-of-the-art cargo handling facilities in Houston and Dallas Fort-Worth. dnata also expanded its cargo handling capabilities at Gatwick, opened an additional cargo warehouse in Schiphol, and a new airside cargo facility in Adelaide.

In the US, it received a new licence to provide ground handling services at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 4; and it commenced operations at JFK’s Terminal 8. In Singapore, dnata began operations at Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4; and opened a new maintenance base for ground service equipment.

DNATA’s Catering business accounted for AED 2.1 billion (US$ 585 million) of its total revenue, up 7%. The inflight catering business uplifted more than 55 million meals to airline customers.

During the year, dnata opened a state-of-the-art catering hub at Melbourne airport, the largest such facility in the southern hemisphere, and a second catering facility in Ireland at Dublin airport. It also entered the Canadian market when it was awarded a licence to provide flight catering services to airlines departing Vancouver International Airport, and has commenced plans to build a dedicated catering facility there.

DNATA strengthened its presence in the North American market with the acquisition of 121 in-flight catering, a New York-based in-flight and VIP caterer in March. This is pending approval from the Committee of Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). In April 2018, dnata announced the acquisition of Qantas’ catering business, subject to the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Revenue from DNATA’s Travel Services division has seen a turnaround after last year’s decline with an increase of 8% to AED 3.4 billion (US$ 922 million). The underlying total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold increased by 6% to AED 11.3 billion (US$ 3.1 billion).

This solid performance was supported by dnata’s ability to tap on the upswing in both inbound and outbound tourism demand in the Middle East, and a healthy increase in long-haul travel and cruise bookings in Europe and Australia.

In 2017-18, dnata completed its acquisition of a stake in Destination Asia, a leading destination management company with operations across 11 Asian countries, making its entry into South East Asia’s inbound travel market. Its UK-based Imagine Cruising business, completed a successful first year of trading in Australia, and acquired Holiday Planet, a leading travel company in Perth to boost growth in this market.

During the year, dnata invested in technology to provide enhanced functionality and a better service experience for its partners and customers. This included the creation of two travel reservation systems for Emirates Holidays and dnata Travel’s B2B business, to replace existing ones.

Copyright Photo: Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EEW (msn 153) (Expo 2020 Dubai UAE) LHR (SPA). Image: 941810.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

An inside look at Emirates state-of-the-art aircraft paint shop at Dubai

Emirates (Dubai) has provided this unique inside look at how it operates the world largest state-of-the-art aircraft paint shop:

Emirates, a global connector of people and places, operates the world’s largest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, and to serve these aircraft, it runs the world’s largest state-of-the-art aircraft paint hangar owned by an airline.

Located at Dubai International Airport, Emirates’ paint hangar is more than twice the size of a football field, and has been designed to deliver quality that exceeds even the standards of aircraft manufacturers.

A Boeing 777 is stripped of its exterior paint in the Emirates paint hangar.

In 2013, Emirates’ advanced paint hangar completely stripped 21 aircraft (or nearly 10% of its fleet) of exterior paint and gave them a brand new coat. It took 6,550 hours in total, or 273 days and nights of non-stop stripping and repainting, to complete these “make-overs”.  In addition to these major projects, the paint shop was kept fully engaged with over 60,000 other paint touch-up jobs on the exteriors and interiors of the aircraft, as well as cabin items.

“Our aircraft livery is one of the most recognisable and visible aspects of our brand. It is what people see in the sky, and the first thing our passengers see at their boarding gates. We take pride in maintaining our aircraft to the highest possible standards, and it is important our planes look pristine on the outside as well as on the inside,” said Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates.

“It’s not just about looking good. The paint coat has to withstand fierce weather conditions, including severe wind, bitter cold and searing heat, and an exterior coat that is clean of debris and imperfections improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel consumption. Emirates already flies a young and efficient fleet, but with fuel prices at consistently high levels, every little bit of efficiency counts,” he added.

Emirates previously had a minor paint booth in its Dubai hub to manage minor jobs while outsourcing the big projects to an external supplier.  Building its own paint hangar has helped the airline to better control total quality, and co-ordinate flight operations scheduling. Since the paint hangar started operations in August 2010, it has completed 59 full aircraft “strip-and-repaint” projects and several hundred thousand aircraft component paintings.

After every seven to eight years in service, Emirates fully strips its aircraft of their exterior colour and gives them a brand-new coat. A Boeing 777 requires a team of 26 to 30 people for a full strip-and-repaint project, which is turned around in just 12 to 13 days.

Emirates’ paint hangar operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It employs highly skilled and specialised staff for this purpose, and uses the latest technologies and systems including fully-controlled environments that regulate temperature, humidity and airflow – all of which are critical factors for the perfect glossy coat.

Since the airline’s launch in 1985, all Emirates aircraft wear their white coat with the iconic golden Emirates letters and tail fin in the colours of the flag of the United Arab Emirates.

The branding underwent a subtle change only once in 2000. The flag was redesigned to appear as though it was flowing in the wind and the letters assumed the new Emirates typeface making them softer and more in-keeping with the Arabic calligraphy. The new look had a buoyant tone making it more contemporary, yet retained the classic look which had become well-known since 1985.

Emirates’ first A380, which entered service in August 2008, will be due for a full repaint in 2015. Emirates operates the largest fleet of A380 with 44 in total and an additional 96 on order. It also operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777s with 132 in service and 210 more on order.

Copyright Photo: Emirates:

Emirates: AG Slide Show

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