The airline's chairman said 2018-19 had been at 'tough' year, with rising oil prices resulting in its biggest-ever fuel bill
Dubai’s Emirates airline, which last week reported a 69 percent year-on-year decline in profit for the financial year ended March 31, 2019, will not be paying a staff bonus this year.
While the carrier saw revenue increase by 6 percent to AED97.9 billion ($26.7 billion) during the financial year, profits declined 69 percent year-on-year to AED871 million.
“2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, said in a press statement issued on Thursday.
An Emirates spokesperson confirmed that a staff bonus would not be paid this year to the airline’s 60,282 employees.
Last year, the airline announced that all its employees would receive a five-week bonus for the year, after it reported a profit of $762 million, a year-on-year increase of 124 percent.
Operating costs for the airline increased 8 percent last year. The rising oil prices meant the airline’s fuel bill increased by 25 percent over last year to AED30.8 billion, resulting in the biggest-ever fuel bill for the airline. Fuel accounted for 32 percent of Emirates’ operating costs, compared to 28 percent in 2017-18, and remained the airline’s biggest cost component.
Another key negative factor was the strengthening of the US dollar, which took a AED572 million bite out of the airline’s bottom line.
Emirates carried 58.6 million passengers during the period, an increase of 0.2 percent. While seat capacity increased 4 percent, an increase in fares resulted in a 3 percent increase in passenger yields.