Emirates Group, comprising Emirates (the airline) and dnata, a ground handling company, experienced a record-record-breaking financial year, ending the period with its strongest-ever cash position.
The group, whose 2022 and 2023 financial year was between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, ended the period with AED37.4 billion ($10.1 billion) in cash assets, the strongest-ever cash position the group has had since its inception. Compared to FY21/FY22, the group said its cash position had grown by 79%, representing “surplus funds remaining after meeting all our financial obligations and investment requirements for the year”.
In total, the group earned AED106.7 billion ($29 billion) in revenue during FY22/23, crossing the AED100 billion ($27.2 billion) mark for the first time in its history. As a result, Emirates ended the financial period with a record profit of AED10.6 billion ($2.8 billion), something that the company called a “remarkable turnaround” following AED3.9 billion ($1 billion) and AED20.3 billion ($5.5 billion) losses in FY21/22 and FY20/21, respectively.
“We’re proud of our 2022-23 performance which is not only a full recovery, but also a record result,” said Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates.
Al Maktoum also noted that the Dubai International Airport (DXB)-based airline was ready to respond to the lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions which “triggered a tide of demand” by expanding operations quickly.
“As a result, we have delivered a record financial performance and cash balance for our financial year 2022-23. This reflects the strength of our proven business model, our careful forward planning, the hard work of all our employees, and our solid partnerships across the aviation and travel ecosystem,” Al Maktoum added.
Ever-aging fleet of Airbus A380s
Throughout the period, the airline’s fleet shrank by several aircraft and has continued to age while Emirates awaits deliveries of its newest additions, namely the Airbus A350, Boeing 777X, and 787s.
Compared to the previous financial year, the airline’s average aircraft age went from 8.2 in FY21/22 to 9.1 in FY22/23, with the airline only taking delivery of two Boeing 777F aircraft. The airline phased out two Airbus A380s, one 777F, and one 777-300ER aircraft during the period, reducing its fleet by two aircraft Year-on-Year (YoY).
Currently, Emirates has booked 200 firm orders with aircraft manufacturers, excluding options, for 50 Airbus A350-900, 115 Boeing 777X, 30 787-9, and five 777F aircraft.
“Our new-generation Airbus A350 and Boeing aircraft will also provide greater fuel efficiency as they join our fleet starting 2024 and 2025 respectively,” the airline noted.
In January 2023, Emirates unveiled its first retrofitted Airbus A380 aircraft, which now includes a Premium Economy cabin option. The airline plans to retrofit 120 A380 and 777-300ER aircraft with the additional cabin product and, as of March 31, 2023, there were six Airbus A380s flying with the Premium Economy cabin.
However, Emirates has not been immune from supply chain-related disruptions. The airline was forced to renew the leases of 25 Boeing 777 aircraft and three spare engines that were due to retire in FY23/24 and FY24/25 after supply chain issues delayed aircraft that were scheduled for delivery.
“The high seat factor on the Airbus A380 continues to demonstrate customer preference for this aircraft. The fleet carried 38% of our passengers in FY 2022-23 and with 43 destinations, around 30% of the Emirates passenger network is served by our flagship aircraft,” the airline commented in its financial report.
“This aircraft is expected to remain the cornerstone of our fleet mix and product offering for many years to come,” the carrier added.
On March 16, 2023, Emirates unveiled an Airbus A380 with a refreshed livery design. The aircraft, registered as A6-EOE, was undergoing a cabin retrofit when it was also repainted with the airline’s new paint job at DXB.