Nicosia, May 22 (ANI): The Emirates Group, Dubai's airline and holiday group, announced on Thursday that its net profit for the year ending March 31 stood at 406 million dollars, representing a 72 percent drop from 1.45 billion dollars during the same period last year.
Middle East's largest airline, however, continues to be one of the best performers in the airline industry globally which last year, due to the recession, lost some eight billion dollars, according to the International Air Transport Association.
The group attributed its profit drop to the impact of record fuel prices, which at one point reached the level of 147 dollars a barrel, declining yields and the strengthening of US dollar.
Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum commenting on the results said: "No one could have predicted the scale of the worldwide recession which is now impacting every country on earth. As we move into the new financial year, the outlook is not improving. Although fuel prices are dropping, demand for business and first class traffic is still weak in many markets."
Sheik Ahmed, however, expressed confidence that the coming year would be one of satisfactory growth for the Group and added that under the circumstances this year's results could also be described as satisfactory.
The results are the poorest in five years for the Group, but at a time when many airlines go bust, the fact that Emirates is making profit is certainly a success story.
This year Emirates will continue to receive new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing after a blitz of aircraft orders between 2005 and 2008. It will add 17 aircraft over the year, including the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, at a time of continued uncertainty for the air travel trade.
The airline has 161 aircraft on order, valued at 52 billion dollars at list prices, not including options. (ANI)