Nov 17 2012
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Emirates surges ahead with its growth plans
The government-owned airline, along with other state-backed Gulf carriers Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways , has invested in new routes as European airlines, hit by high fuel costs and a global market slowdown, cut costs and shelve growth plans.
Emirates and its home base Dubai are betting that its location - a third of the world's population is within a 4-hour flight radius - will continue to attract passenger traffic away from other global hubs such as London, New York and Singapore.
Emirates said net profit was 1.7 billion dirhams in the six months to September 30 compared with 836 million in the same period a year ago.
Emirates entered a 10-year alliance with Qantas Airways in September, as it looked to compete with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways for a share of Australia's market.
It has launched 15 new destinations since Sept last year.
Emirates has carried 18.7 million passengers since April 1, up 15.4 percent from a year ago. Revenue was 35.4 billion dirhams, up 17 percent on the same period last year.
High fuel costs accounted for 39 percent of expenditure, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates said in a statement.
Profits for the wider Emirates Group, including airline services arm Dnata, was AED2.1 billion, up from AED1.3 billion a year earlier.
Cash assets fell to AED15.2 billion after the airline repaid a AED 2 billion sukuk in June.
Emirates said passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers, was up 17.8 percent in the six months to Sept. 30, with passenger seat factor averaging 80 percent, slightly above last year's 79 percent.
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