Spurt in travel demand ensured the UAE’s national carrier Emirates to register record profits in 2022-23.
Releasing its annual report for 2022-23 on Thursday, Emirates said that 2022-23 has been the most profitable year and the airline did a complete turnaround in all segments of its businesses.
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.
For the financial year ended 31 March 2023, the Emirates Group posted a record profit of $ billion compared with $1 billion loss for last year. The Group’s revenue was $32.6 billion), an increase of 81% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was $11.6 billion, the highest ever reported, up 65% from last year mainly due to strong demand across its core business divisions and markets.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group, said that they were proud of the financial performance, which was not only a full recovery, but also a record result.
This achievement would not have been possible without His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, whose leadership has been critical to our success today and through the years.
“The architect of Dubai’s progressive economic policies, HH Sheikh Mohammed is also the engine behind the Emirates Group’s trajectory. Without his drive and support, Emirates will be half the size of what we are today,” Emirates Chairman said.
He said that their 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 D33, 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,” he added.
The airline anticipated the strong return of travel, and as the last travel restrictions lifted and triggered a tide of demand, it was ready to expand its 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. 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,” he added.
To support expanded operations and to bolster the Group’s future capabilities, Emirates and dnata ramped up recruitment activity across the globe during the year. As a result, the Group’s total workforce increased by 20% to 102,379 employees, representing over 160 different nationalities.
In 2022-23, the Group invested $2 billion in new aircraft, facilities, equipment, companies, and the latest technologies to position the business for future growth. Emirate’s commitments include: a massive multi-billion dollar aircraft cabin retrofit programme; an order for 5 new 777 freighters; the building of a new pilot training centre; the opening of Bustanica, the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai under a partnership with CropOne; new training aircraft for its cadets at Emirates Flight Training Academy; dnata’s acquisition of 30% shares to gain full ownership of its ground handling operations in Brazil; and the building of a new advanced cargo facility in Erbil, Iraq.
Amongst its numerous environmental initiatives, a key highlight for Emirates was the successful conduct of a demonstration flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in one engine of a Boeing 777.
Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity increased by 32% to 48.2 billion ATKMs in 2022-23, as the airline continued to reinstate passenger services across its network in line with the lifting of pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions.
In addition to launching services to Tel Aviv, Emirates relaunched flights to six destinations and increased operations to 62 cities across its network throughout the year to serve strong customer demand. By 31 March 2023, the Emirates network comprised 150 destinations across six continents, including 9 cities served by its freighter fleet only.
Emirates also deployed its flagship A380 aircraft to even more cities during the year, bringing its A380 network to 43 destinations as of 31 March 2023.
Emirates signed agreements with new codeshare partners in 2022-23 most notably with United Airlines and Air Canada, expanding the airline’s connectivity in the Americas to over 200 new points, in addition to mutual frequent flyer programme benefits.
Emirates also reinforced its strategic partnerships with Qantas and flydubai and added new interline and codeshare partners: Airlink, AEGEAN, ITA Airways, Air Tanzania, Bamboo Airways, Batik Air, Philippine Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Sky Express.
With significantly enhanced capacity deployment across most markets, Emirates’ total revenue for the financial year increased 81% to $29.3 billion. Currency fluctuations in some of the airline’s major markets, notably the Euro, Pound Sterling, and devaluation of the Pakistani Rupee, significantly impacted the airline’s profitability negatively by $1.2 billion.