Although cargo volumes lagged around the globe in 2011, last year brought considerable growth to Emirates SkyCargo. In addition to reporting revenues of AED9.5 billion — an 8.4 percent, year-over-year, surge — the cargo carrier saw a 5.4 percent, year-over-year, rise in freight-tonne kilometers, according to a press release.
In total, Emirates SkyCargo handled 1,796,000 tonnes of freight last year, a 1.7 percent, year-over-year, increase. Contributing to this growth was an uptick in the number of the carrier’s routings, with Emirates SkyCargo launching service to several new destinations in 2011.
Ghana was one of them. The carrier commenced weekly Boeing 747-400F service to Kotoka International Airport in November, in hopes of bolstering trade links between the United Arab Emirates and West Africa.
Iraq was also on Emirates SkyCargo’s radar last year, with the carrier launching twice-weekly freight service to the northern city of Erbil. This destination complemented the carrier’s existing route to Basra, Iraq, which it launched in February 2011. Oil and gas equipment comprised the key commodities carried on these flights.
But while the petroleum sector allowed Emirates SkyCargo to profit in one capacity, it hindered its bottom line in another. Emirates Airline Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum revealed that the carrier saw its highest-ever fuel bill last year, a problem compounded by the volatility in exchange rates. Even so, he said, Emirates Airline achieved its 24th consecutive year of profitability in 2011.
“Retaining growth and remaining profitable in these challenging economic times shows our profound understanding of the markets that we do business in,” Sheikh Ahmed added.
Emirates’ ground-handling subsidiary dnata contributed significantly to the carrier’s profitability in 2011, according to the press release. Last year marked dnata’s most successful year to date, with revenues reaching AED7 billion — a 59 percent, year-over-year, increase.
The 2011-2012 fiscal year also brought record-breaking growth to FreightGate-8, dnata’s cargo terminal at Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport that opened in June 2010. dnata handled 127,665 tonnes of airfreight at FreightGate-8 during the 12-month period, a 700 percent, year-over-year, increase.