Stock - Emirates
Primed for take-off, and that's what the numbers are showing for Emirates. Fast-track restoration of services and new capacities helped propel record year. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Emirates Group has seen through its most profitable year by posting Dh10.6 billion against Dh3.9 billion loss last year, as the Dubai airline emerged from the Covid blues faster and better prepared than most in the industry. 

Revenues were up 81 per cent to Dh107.4 billion (US$ 29.3 billion) as airline 'restored its global network and reinstated more passenger flights'.

"We’re proud of our 2022-23 performance which is not only a full recovery, but also a record result," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group.

Those profits came from revenues of Dh119.8 billion ($32.6 billion), an increase of 81 per cent. The Group’s cash balance was Dh42.5 billion ($11.6 billion) - the highest ever in its history and up 65 per cent from last year due to 'strong demand across its core business divisions and markets'.

Emirates financial year ends March 31.

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice -President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, lauded the strong financial results achieved by the Emirates Group for the fiscal year 2022-2023.

"Emirates reported its most profitable year ever following the worst global crisis experienced by the global aviation sector over the last three years. Emirates airline represents the spirit of Dubai," Sheikh Mohammed tweeted. "Crises make us stronger and more determined to be in the global lead."

"I’m proud of Emirates Group’s performance for 2022-23, and our contribution to the restoration of air transport and tourism across the markets we serve, including Dubai’s astounding 97 per cent year-on-year growth in international visitors for 2022," said Sheikh Ahmed.

"The Group is the biggest player in the UAE’s aviation sector, which supports over 770,000 jobs and generates an estimated contribution to GDP of over $47 billion (Dh172.5 billion).

"With our growth plans, and in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, we expect to significantly increase our contribution to the UAE’s GDP over the next decade through direct and indirect employment, supply chain spending, tourism spend, and trade and commerce benefits from the movement of cargo."

This achievement would not have been possible without His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, whose leadership has been critical to our success today and through the years. The architect of Dubai’s progressive economic policies, HH Sheikh Mohammed is also the engine behind the Emirates Group’s trajectory. Without his drive and support, Emirates will be half the size of what we are today

- Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Passenger numbers

Emirates flights carried 43.6 million passengers (up 123 per cent) in 2022-23, while the seat capacity was up 78 per cent. That meant a 'Passenger Seat Factor' of 79.5 per cent compared with last year’s 58.6 per cent. (This was twinned to 7 per cent increase in passenger yield to 37.5 fils per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM), due to a change in cabin and route mix, fares and currency.)

Emirates to grant 24 weeks’ salary to 102,379 employees
Emirates Group will grant its employees a bonus of 24 weeks’ salary in recognition of their performance which led the group to record the best profits in its history, according to Al Bayan and Al Khaleej Arabic daily newspapers.

Emirates refused to give any comment on this matter.

According to the reports, a total of 102,379 employees will benefit from the bonus. The group recently strengthened recruitment activities to support the expansion of its operations and enhance its future capacity. Its employees increased by 20 per cent to 102,379.

- Khitam Al Amir, Chief News Editor

New routes

Apart from launching services to Tel Aviv, Emirates relaunched to six destinations and increased operations to 62 cities across its network. By end March, the network comprised 150 destinations, including 9 cities served by its freighter fleet only.

Emirates also deployed its flagship A380 aircraft to more cities during the year, bringing these services to 43 destinations by end March.

Aircraft order book
Emirates’ order book totals 200 aircraft, including 5 additional Boeing 777-300ER freighters.

The airline received two new 777 freighter aircraft during the last financial year, while it phased out 4 aircraft comprising of two A380, one Boeing 777-300ER and one freighter. Its total fleet count at the end of March was 260 units, with an average fleet age of 9.1 years.

Heavy on investments

Last year, the Group collectively invested Dh7.2 billion ($2 billion) on new aircraft, facilities and other needs. This includes the multi-billion dollar aircraft cabin retrofit programme, as well as an order for 5 new 777 freighters. There is also the building of a new pilot training centre and the opening of Bustanica, the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai under a partnership with CropOne.

Outlook's strong

"We go into 2023-24 with a strong positive outlook and expect the Group to remain profitable," said Sheikh Ahmed. "We will work hard to hit our targets while keeping a close watch on inflation, high fuel prices, and political and economic uncertainty."

Cost spikes with fuel a factor
Emirates' operating costs increased 57% from the last financial year. Cost of ownership (depreciation and amortisation) and fuel costs were the two biggest components, followed by employee cost.
Fuel accounted for 36% of operating costs compared to 23% in 2021-22. The airline’s fuel bill increased 143% to Dh33.7 billion ($9.2 billion) compared to the previous year, due to a higher uplift of 49% in line with capacity expansion and a higher average fuel price which was up by 48%.