Emirates airline expects better results in its current financial year, as it ramps up its partnership with flydubai and sees stronger demand on its routes to the United States, according to Emirates Group chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum.
“It’s going to be better than last year in general,” Sheikh Ahmed told local media at the launch of a GE Aviation support centre in Dubai South on Tuesday, declining to give further details.
During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Emirates profits fell 82 percent to AED 1.3 billion ($353.9 million). In response, the airline carried out a number of reforms to boost revenues, including a reduction in payroll and paid-for advance seat selection.
In the first half of the 2017-2018 financial year, profits rose 111 percent to AED 1.7 billion ($462.8 million).
Additionally, Emirates is expected to benefit from the relaxation of the electronics ban on US-bound flights and the easing of restrictions on citizens from a number of Middle East countries, both of which impacted its results last year.
Demand on flights to the US, Sheikh Ahmed added, is “much better now.”
Sheikh Ahmed also said is “very pleased” so far with the codeshare agreement with flydubai that was announced last year.
“It’s beyond our expectations and we’ll see it very much closer to the summer schedule,” he said.
In February, Sheikh Ahmed said the opportunities created by the partnership with flydubai “will create new passenger flows going forward.”
From April 16 next year, both Emirates and flydubai will be forced to scale back operations and reduce capacity for 45 days because of the closure of one runway at Dubai International Airport.
“The biggest cut will be on Emirates and flydubai,” he said, noting that all operators at DXB are being informed in advance to allow them to adjust schedules.
Sheikh Ahmed also confirmed that the value of Emirates' sukuk is $1.1 billion, which he told reporters would partly be used for aircraft financing.
Last week, the airline said City and Standard Chartered Bank will act as global coordinators and joint lead managers, along with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, BNP Paribas, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Noor Bank as lead managers.
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