By John McCurry
Emirates’ fiscal year, which ended March 31, brought good news for its cargo division, Emirates SkyCargo, which reported revenue of $2.8 billion, an 8 percent increase of the previous year.
Overall, the Emirates Group recorded its 25th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth, despite high fuel prices and a continuing week global economy. The group recorded a net profit of $845 million, up 34 percent from 2011-2012.
Emirates SkyCargo’s tonnage increased 16 percent reaching 2.1 million tonnes in a shrinking airfreight market, highlighting its ability to grow revenues against the industry norm. This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) decreased by 6 percent. The cargo division contributed 15 percent of Emirates’ total transport revenue.
At the end of the financial year, Emirates SkyCargo freighter fleet totaled 10 aircraft –eight on operating lease and two on wet lease.
“Achieving our 25th consecutive year of profit in a financial year with our largest ever increase in capacity across the network is an achievement that speaks to the strength of our brands and our leadership,” said His Highness (H.H) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO, Emirates Airline and Group.
Emirates said it grew its employee base by 12 percent to 68,000.
The group continued with its growth plan and during the financial year saw the largest increase in capacity in the airline’s history, receiving 34 new aircraft, the highest in any single year. These aircraft were funded by raising more than $ 7.8 billion through a variety of financing structures. Overall capacity measured in Available Tonne Kilometers (ATKMs) increased by 5.5 billion tonne-kilometers. Other significant capacity increases include launching 10 new destinations across six continents, shipping more than 2 million tonnes of cargo for the first time and carrying an additional 5.4 million passengers over last year, the highest increase in a financial year.
Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with a persistently high fuel bill accounting for 40 per cent of our total expenditures, has required continued strong resolve,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “Even with these lingering challenges we continue to grow and remain profitable despite the industry norms because we continue to rely on our proven business model and understanding of the marketplace.”
“Staying the course, our strategy for growth has reaped high benefits this past financial year, which has been our strongest ever in relationship to capacity growth,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Emirates seat load factor over the last three years has been 80 per cent despite our increase in capacity by 44 per cent during the same period, showing the continued global demand for our product. In addition our capacity measured in terms of Available Tonne Kilometers (ATKMs), which includes passenger and cargo capacity, crossed the 40 billion tonne-kilometers mark, another first for Emirates.”