By Sarah Townsend
Airline president Time Clark says it benefited from new route launches and strong performance from European markets
Emirates Airline had its "second most profitable year" ever in 2014, the carrier's president Sir Tim Clark revealed on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of the company's annual results to be published on Thursday, Clark said the company benefited from new route launches, strong performance from European markets - despite the Eurozone turmoil - and refraining from its past practice of oil price hedging.
However, tapping into the Asian markets, where it performed less well than Europe and the Middle East, had been "a bit of a fight" last year, Clark said.
The upgrading of Dubai Airport's runways last year also saw it being forced to ground 22 aircraft, but he said the airline mitigated the financial risks with "nimble pre-planning."
He told a seminar at the Arabian Travel Market conference in Dubai that the subsidies row, in which it is claimed by US-based carriers Delta, American and United, that Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways received more than $40 billion in subsidies from their home governments, was "flim, flam and tosh" and "you could drive a bulldozer through everything [the three US airlines] said about us [in their white paper to the US government last month]".
Clark said: "If the US government is as serious about examining the allegations as it says it is - and given that the airlines claim to have taken two years to compile their report - then I need more time to put together a robust response.
"They have given us 60 days, but the Open Skies agreements do not set a timeframe [for something like this].
"We will do it in our own time and we will deal a sledgehammer to their report."