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Emirates flags better first-half results

Emirates flags better first-half results
Emirates will release its results in the first week of October.

Dubai - Runway closure not a problem; aviation safety must be addressed by all

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 22 Sep 2019, 10:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:35 AM

Emirates airline's net profit for the first-half of 2019-20 will surpass last year's figures despite the 45-day closure of Dubai International Airport's runway for refurbishment, its president said on Sunday.
"I am content that the result is better than we thought it would be, given that we had to shut airport's one runway for maintenance for seven weeks. The results are better than the corresponding first half of last year," Tim Clark said.
The Dubai-based carrier will release its results in the first week of October, Clark said on the sidelines of Aviation Security Global Summit 2019 in Dubai.

Emirates had seen a 25 per cent reduction in the overall number of flights during the runway refurbishment period.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group, opened the exhibition.
Replying to reporters' queries about the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX after crashes it was involved in, Sheikh Ahmed said the US planemaker has yet to furnish the details on the aircraft's return to service.
"We hope that the plane would be fixed and will be safe for use again. We continue holding talks with them to monitor the situation, yet there are no talks about any compensation so far," he added.
In the first half of the 2018-19 financial year, Emirates posted a net profit of Dh226 million, down 86 per cent compared to the previous year. Its revenue reached Dh48.9 billion, up 10 per cent.
Mark D. Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Consulting, said Emirates profits looking positive come as a consequence of the aftermath effects of the blockade on Qatar, which has resulted in improved loads for Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways.
"What also helps with this is the momentarily lower price of jet fuel which has supportive with for UAE carriers at the time."
The president is not confident that Boeing's 777X will come on time, hence causing a delay in the launch of its premium economy class. "I would suggest strongly that it won't [come in June]. We are hoping to get the 777X in December next year. The 777X is to make its debut in June next year and now it has been pushed," Clark said.
Boeing said it may delay deliveries of the 777X due to problems with its General Electric-made engines. Emirates is the launch customer for the plane and placed an order for 150 aircraft.
Replying to a query about Boeing the 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide, Clark said the MAX's return largely depends on the unanimity of regulators. "If that doesn't happen, there will be problem but Boeing is trying harder to sort it out."
He told reporters that European markets have been growing between 6 to 8 per cent a year. "The UK is a hugely robust market and defies naysayers. Around 55-60 per cent of total profit of European operations come from that one country and it continues to grow. When the pound hit a new low recently, the demand to the UK went up quite strong," he added.
On Saturday, Emirates became the first airline outside the US to receive approval for biometric boarding from US Customs Border Protection. This allows customers flying from Dubai to any of Emirates' 12 destinations in the US to choose facial recognition technology at departure gates, reducing the time taken for identity checks to two seconds or less.
While addressing the security conference, Clark said the aviation industry is a complex and interdependent ecosystem involving policymakers, airlines, airport operators and supply chain network. "One weak link can put the whole system at risk." He also highlighted that cyberattacks and digital threats are equally dangerous.
Baroness Vere of Norbiton, parliamentary under-secretary of the UK's Department for Transport, said the terrorism menace is likely to persist in year ahead.
"Aviation will remain a prime target for terrorists groups. Terrorism is constantly evolving and has the potential to strike anywhere. With the government and industry working together, we can ensure the safety of passengers of every airport," she said in her keynote speech in Dubai.
She urged that every party concerned directly or indirectly to aviation must not be complacent as no single country has the answers; it is a collective effort.
Highlighting the role of insiders in terror threats, Baroness Vere noted that a vast majority of workers are decent but it takes just one employee to damage the entire system.
- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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