Emirates gains from ‘tide of demand’ after last Covid travel curbs are lifted

Emirates Group returned to the black in the year to March 31 by turning around a $1 billion loss into a record $3 billion profit.

Both Emirates and dnata saw “significant” revenue increases in 2022-23 as the group expanded its air transport and travel-related operations following the removal of nearly all pandemic-related restrictions around the world.

The airline improved its financial results and reported a record profit of $2.9 billion after the previous year’s $1.1 billion loss.

This came with an “exceptional” profit margin of 9.9%, reflecting the best performance in the airline’s history.

Emirates carried 43.6 million passengers, up 123% year-on-year, with seat increased capacity by 78% and an improved load fact of 79.8%.

Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division grew by 227% to $618 million. 

The reported total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold increased by 203% to $1.9 billion, reflecting the previous year’s abnormal situation where the business was recovering from Covid-19-related booking cancellations.

Group chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “We’re proud of our 2022-23 performance which is not only a full recovery, but also a record result. 

“We had anticipated the strong return of travel, and as the last travel restrictions lifted and triggered a tide of demand, we were ready to expand our operations quickly and safely to serve our customers. 

“Our ongoing investments in our brand, and in our products and services, helped drive customer preference and position us favourably in the market. 

“As a result, we have delivered a record financial performance and cash balance for our financial year 2022-23.  

“This reflects the strength of our proven business model, our careful forward planning, the hard work of all our employees, and our solid partnerships across the aviation and travel ecosystem.

“I’m proud of the 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% year-on-year growth in international visitors for 2022. 

“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. 

“With our growth plans, and in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda, 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.”

The results coincided with Emirates committing $200 million to fund research and development projects looking into cutting the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation.

It claims to be the biggest single commitment by any airline on sustainability, with funds to be disbursed over three years. 

Emirates will identify partnerships with leading organisations working on solutions in advanced fuel and energy technologies.

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