Business | Aviation

Emirates likely to increase airfares

If oil prices go up to $150-$160 the carrier may have to review prices, Clark says Airline has 90 superjumbos to be delivered

  • By Shweta Jain, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 May 3, 2011
  • Gulf News

Airbus A380
  • Image Credit: AP
  • Fuel accounted for 43 per cent of the Emirates airline's costs last year.

Dubai: After having increased airfares by about 15 per cent this year, Emirates could be forced to raise them again this year if oil prices continue to rise, Tim Clark, Emirates President, told Gulf News.

"We have already done it a number of times this year. We have increased by 15 per cent already. We are leaving it as it is for now. But we may have to tend to our costs if oil prices go up to $150 (Dh550.50)-$160 per barrel levels," he said.

Fuel accounted for 43 per cent of the airline's costs last year, according to Clark.

Unrest factor

"No airline is going to be able to continue what it wants to whether it's pricing, cost reduction or capacity or network programme. You cannot sustain. And I don't believe that the global economy would be able to sustain that kind of a price for too long.

"So I am hoping that equilibrium will come into play sooner than later.

"We have got to manage the whole business and see what the propensity is to take fare increases and if we can't do it I have got to think about other buttons to push and levers to pull."

Even as Emirates was hit by the unrest in the Middle East and faced the recent natural disasters such as ash cloud and the Japan earthquake, the region's largest carrier's earnings for financial year 2010-2011 are "on course", said Clark.

Financial results

The carrier is due to release its financial results shortly. Emirates may tap the debt market again, Clark said, "after paying off a bond that matured earlier in the year".

"We tested the waters and we pulled our bond off the table. We could come back in again."

He did not divulge any time-line.

In March, Emirates fully repaid a $500-million bond that was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in 2004.

A380 orders could increase to 120

Emirates, which currently has 90 Airbus A380s on order, could increase its order to around 120 superjumbos, according to Tim Clark, Emirates President.

"If we had space available to have more A380s at Dubai International Airport, we would do that and get 120 A380s," further adding that it [120] was the original figure and that Emirates had to bring down because "we couldn't fit them in".

With all of the 90 superjumbos due to arrive by November 2017, Emirates in future will see more A380s, Clark said. "And much will depend on the dynamics of the airport changes — at Al Maktoum International Airport down in Jebel Ali and at Dubai International," he said.

Comments (9)

  1. Added 15:38 May 3, 2011

    i always prefer traveling through emirates even if the fare is higher than other airlines. however if the rates will increase in near future my family n myself we have to think twice before booking emirates flight.

    sonal, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:22 May 3, 2011

    Well i think emirates airline being one of international airline, must give chances to people belonging to lower class, perhaps not increasing the air fares. I really do not agree for incresing the airfare. I hope this will not be done.

    FAIZA, SHJ, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:52 May 3, 2011

    Puntuality and Timeliness is the hall mark of emirates. But be it any airline the Asian sector is the worst affected being metted out a stepmotherly treatment. Flights to Asian subcontinent are practically full and 60% of the travellers are poor or middle income workers. Emirates do consider us in your fare increase. I have been travelling by emirates for the last 5 years courtesy my employers magnanimity. But it cannot be exploited.

    ARUN, -, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:14 May 3, 2011

    you can check with any travel agent to get the past dated airfare on any airline

    yasar, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:28 May 3, 2011

    Hi, Your Travel Agent will be able to give you historical fares for the previous year. It will only be an indication as there will be no way of knowing the availability of a particular fare. The fare that can be searched will be excluding TAXES therefore that element will have to be an extimate. You could use current taxes for the route but will need to factor out any FUEL SURCHARGES ot TAXES that may have increased during the period in question. Hope this helps you.

    Terry, Manchester, United Kingdom

  6. Added 11:25 May 3, 2011

    Emirates should reconsider their exsiting fares/offerings first! Their exsiting fares are double of what is being offered by other international carriers!

    Hasan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:24 May 3, 2011

    I used to travel atleast once in 2 month and My preferred carrier is Emirates. Now do to this cost increase, i want to opt for some other chear carrier arilines & i have also booked my next few tickets in other airlines.

    Kannan, Abudhabi, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:14 May 3, 2011

    I travel regularly but the most expensive airline is Emirates and they almost have double price against the others. The only difference is food service and empty seats :) Why should I pay double for the same destination ?

    Riza, Dubai, Turkey

  9. Added 09:59 May 3, 2011

    Our company provides us annual fare allowance based on the ticket prices of 2009. Is there a way for us to see the history of ticket prices? Anybody knows where we can get this information?

    John, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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