Emirates' Dubai-Heathrow route top revenue generator
Dubai - Emirates and Airbus had also reached an agreement on outstanding A380 deliveries.
Emirates airline's Dubai-London Heathrow non-stop route generated close to $800 million in 2018, securing one of the top spots in a list of the world's highest revenue-generating routes.
According to OAG, an air travel intelligence company that provides reliable digital information, said the UAE national carrier's Dubai-London route appeared third in the 'Top 10 highest revenue routes by airline' between April 2018 and March 2019.
With six daily Airbus A380 flights on this route, Emirates generated $769.202 million over 31,943 hours of scheduled flight time, equivalent to $24,926 per hour within this time period. In 2018, the route carried 2,674,872 passengers, although this was 16.6 per cent less than in 2017, OAG said in a statement.
"However, 2017 was a more profitable year for the London Heathrow to Dubai route with more than $33 million generated over an additional 435 hours of flight time scheduled on the route. The revenue per hour generated on this route in 2018 was three per cent less than in 2017, which may be partly to blame on the airline's increased operating costs with the inflation of jet fuel prices and foreign exchange rates," the air travel intelligence provider said.
Saj Ahmad, an analyst at London's StrategicAero Research, said it is not a surprise that this route makes so much money because of the strategic location of Dubai.
"Emirates connects the world through its hub and people from across the UK, and in particular London, choose Dubai and Emirates over the competition," Ahmad said.
"With Emirates world-class service, new airplanes and great global one-stop connections via Dubai, it's no surprise that customers from London, often very high yield and profitable ones, fly this route and generate so much profit for Emirates," he added.
Emirates, which flies to over 140 destinations, recorded 5.8 per cent rise in overall passenger revenue in 2018 to over Dh78 billion and carried 58.6 million passengers. Emirates' flights to and from Europe, including London Heathrow, made up 29.4 per cent of the airline's revenue in 2018 - six per cent more than in the previous year.
The route between Dubai International and London Heathrow is flown by Airbus A380. It became an all A380 service in 2013 and today, Emirates is the world's leading operator of A380s with 110 super jumbos in its fleet.
According to its annual report, Emirates bought seven A380s and six Boeing 777s in 2018. The airline also has plans to expand further with six additional A380s by 2020 and will retire eight of its Boeing 777s in order to keep its fleet young.
In February this year, Emirates signed a new deal with Airbus, pegged at $21.4 billion at list prices, for the purchase of 40 A330-900 aircraft and 30 A350-900 aircraft, which will be delivered to the airline starting from 2021 and 2024 respectively.
Emirates and Airbus had also reached an agreement on outstanding A380 deliveries. As per the deal, the Dubai-based carrier will receive 14 more A380s from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order book to 123 units, down from 162. The 2019-2021 deliveries are part of the order made in 2013. The signing of the new agreement was announced just as Airbus confirmed plans of ending the production of A380s.