Emirates airline chalks record annual profit as travel demand booms

An Emirates Airlines plane

Karim Sahib | AFP | Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dubai-based carrier Emirates airline on Monday reported record annual profit of 17.2 billion dirhams ($4.7 billion) for the 2023-2024 financial year, up 63% from the year prior.

The flag carrying airline of the UAE’s glitzy commercial capital has enjoyed a consistently recovering travel sector, expanding its route network to meet booming demand.

The latest figures from world’s largest long-haul airline were the best in its history and were “driven by the voracious appetite for travel across customer segments,” the Emirates Group said in a statement.

Emirates carried 51.9 million passengers in the 2023-24 financial year, a 19% increase from the year prior, with reported seat capacity up by 21%.

Revenue for the airline rose 13% to 121.2 billion dirhams and airline capacity increased by 20%, “closing [the] gap to pre-pandemic levels,” the statement said.

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“Throughout the year, we saw high demand for air transport and travel related services around the world, and because we were able to move quickly to deliver what customers want, we achieved tremendous results,” said Emirates chairman and and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

“We are reaping the benefit of years of non-stop investments in our products and services, in building strong partnerships, and in the capabilities of our talented people.”

Emirates Group, which comprises the airline and airline services and ground handling company dnata, saw its own best-ever financial performance with a record profit of 18.7 billion dirhams, a 71% jump from the previous year.

It also ended the financial year with its highest-ever cash balance of 47.1 billion dirhams, and declared a 4 billion dirham dividend for its owner, the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

The airline doesn’t plan to slow its expansion anytime soon; it has more than 300 passenger jets on order.

Dubai’s leadership meanwhile recently approved a multi-billion dollar plan to build a new passenger terminal at the emirate’s Al Maktoum International Airport, which will make it five times bigger than Dubai’s main international airport in terms of size — and the biggest in the world.

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