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Emirates profit tumbles 64% on strong US dollar, low travel demand
[DUBAI] Emirates Group profit tumbled 64 per cent in its fiscal first half as the world's biggest airline by international traffic faced a strong US dollar and political and economic uncertainty that dampened global travel demand and pressured air fares.
Net income fell to 1.3 billion dirhams (S$509 million) in the six months through September from 3.7 billion dirhams a year earlier, the Dubai-based airline said in a statement. Revenue rose one per cent to 46.5 billion dirhams.
"The bleak global economic outlook appears to be the new norm, with no immediate resolution in sight," Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in the statement.
"We continue to make strategic investments, because we know we have to work even harder for every customer."
Emirates, which has exploited its geographical location to turn Dubai into an inter-continental crossroads, has faced a tough year. Terror attacks in Europe are hurting demand from Asia, while weaker currencies in the UK, India and Australia and a stronger US dollar impacted business.
Low oil prices also sapped demand for lucrative premium bookings from the oil and gas industry.
New routes to Yangon in Myanmar and Hanoi in Vietnam helped Emirates increased passenger numbers 8.9 per cent to 28 million in the first half. Still, planes were less full, with the load factor dropping to 75.3 per cent from 78.3 per cent.