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A tough year has taken its toll on Emirates despite the airline managing to keep profits in the black.
The Group’s 2016-2017 results report a 29th year of profit but airline profits are down 81 percent to AED 1.3 billion ($340 million) from a record AED 7.2 billion ($1.9 billion) last year. Group profits, which include the airline receded 70 percent to AED 2.5 billion ($670 million) from AED 8.2 billion ($2.2 billion) a year ago.
It is the sharpest fall in profits of any of the UAE’s airlines that have released results from 2016 so far, which Emirates attributed to a list of “destabilising events” including “the Brexit vote, Europe’s immigration challenges, terror attacks, new policies impacting air travel into the US, currency devaluation, funds repatriation issues in parts of Africa, and the continued knock-on effect of a sluggish oil and gas industry on business confidence and travel demand.”
Emirates had indicated 2016 would be a tough year in its half year results which showed profits were down 75 percent. At the time Emirates chairman, Sheikh Ahmed, had said there was no good news in sight.
“I think we will still be profitable, but it will be another challenging year for us again,” he told reporters at the Arabian Travel Market last month.