Middle Eastern operator Emirates Group’s profits over the past two years have exceeded the combined losses it accumulated over the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emirates Group has disclosed its latest full-year profit, to the end of March 2024, reached Dhs18.7 billion ($5.1 billion) – including a contribution of Dhs17.2 billion from Emirates Airline, up more than 60%.

The group states that this took combined profits over the last two years to Dhs29.6 billion, overtaking the Dhs25.9 billion of losses experienced during 2020-22 as the pandemic inflicted heavy damage on the air transport sector.

Emirates A350-c-Emirates

Source: Emirates

Emirates has 310 aircraft on order including 65 A350s

Emirates Airline expanded overall passenger and cargo capacity by 20% compared with the previous year, it says, recovering to “near pre-pandemic levels”. It serves 151 destinations including 10 exclusively with freighters from its SkyCargo operation.

Its revenues for the full year rose by 13% to Dhs121 billion, the carrier adds, as “voracious” demand drove passenger numbers up by 21%, although yield declined by 2% owing to changes in “cabin and route mix” as well as fare and currency effects.

But operating costs increased by just 8%, with higher fuel uplift mitigated by lower average fuel prices.

Freight operation SkyCargo generated Dhs13.6 billion in revenues, but yield was down by nearly one-third. Emirates says the logistics sector is facing “continued challenges” and has not given a profit or loss figure for the division.

SkyCargo has a fleet of 11 Boeing 777Fs and expects delivery of five more from the middle of this year. It bridged capacity last year with leases of three 747 freighters, to serve demand on busy routes while awaiting the additional 777Fs.

Emirates has an overall fleet of 260 aircraft with another 310 on order, comprising 170 Boeing 777-9s, 35 777-8s, 65 Airbus A350-900s, 15 787-10s, 20 787-8s, plus the five 777Fs.