UAE-based Emirates reported a record profit of US$2.2 billion for the year 2015, in spite of softer revenues, which dropped 3 percent, year-over-year, to $25.3 billion. Revenues from the group’s SkyCargo division comprised 14 percent of the airline’s overall transport revenue, even as Skycargo unit revenues dropped 9 percent to $3 billion.
Lower yields were attributed to weaker currencies and the “double-edged sword” of low fuel prices, the carrier said. Although the fuel prices, “provided relief on one of our major costs, it also created strong downward pressure on margins,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates.
Despite falling yields, freight volumes showed positive growth for the year. Emirates reported a 7.2 percent increase in freight-tonne-kilometers flown by its fleet of 15 freighters and in the bellies of its 236 passenger aircraft.
Tonnage was also up 6 percent for the year to 2.5 million tonnes. Emirates said that cargo carried in the bellyhold of passenger flights rose 6 percent as it added 29 widebody aircraft to its fleet during the year. The addition of a 777F also lifted freighter-carried tonnage by 4 percent.
Looking ahead, Emirates said that “Skycargo continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations.”