Emirates underlines sustainability mission as it reports record profit up 71% from last year

image is Emirates A380

Emirates made global headlines in November as it operated the first A380 demonstration flight using 100% SAF in one engine    Image for illustration only

Emirates Group reported significant strides in its sustainability quest on the way to achieving its best-ever financial performance during 2023-24.

The UAE airline signed new supply agreements to uplift sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at its Dubai hub for the first time, and also in Amsterdam and Singapore. 

And Emirates made global headlines in November as it operated the first A380 demonstration flight using 100% SAF in one engine, in the process collecting key data to support industry efforts to enable future 100% SAF flying.

Breaking records

These developments came as the group chalked up record profit of AED18.7 billion ($ 5.1 billion), record revenue, and record level of cash assets, as revealed in its 2023-24 Annual Report on Monday.

The company said it put into action numerous sustainability initiatives focused on the environment, as well as employees, customers, and communities in a year when environmental topics were high on the agenda, including the Dubai-hosted COP28 climate action conference.

Low-carbon aviation fuels

Emirates established a $200 million fund to support R&D projects that focus on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation, having recognised that airlines currently have limited viable solutions to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions. 

It also became a founding entity of Air-CRAFT, a UAE-based research consortium for renewable and advanced aviation fuels, and joined The Solent Cluster; the UK initiative focuses on producing low-carbon fuels for a variety of sectors, including aviation.

Ground level efforts

The group reported that its dnata division continued to invest and introduce more electric and hybrid vehicles to its global fleet of ground support equipment (GSE), including new baggage tractors, cargo loaders, and pushback tractors for its USA operations. It also converted and refurbished diesel-powered GSEs in Italy to run on hydrogenated vegetable oil and electric power. 

dnata’s UAE businesses - including dnata logistics, Arabian Adventures, Alpha Flight Services and City Sightseeing Worldwide - transitioned to biofuel for the landside fleet of vehicles.

Impressive figures

These changes happened as group revenue increased 15% to a new high of $ 37.4 billion, driven by strong customer demand across its businesses. The year ended with a cash balance of $12.8 billion.

The report showed both Emirates and dnata achieving significant profit and revenue increases in 2023-24 as the group expanded operations around the world to meet strong customer demand.

Combined group profits for the last two years, at AED29.6 billion, surpass pandemic losses of AED25.9 billion, during 2020-2022.

In 2023-24, it collectively invested $2.4 billion in new aircraft, facilities, equipment, companies, and the latest technologies to support growth plans.

Emirates carried 51.9 million passengers (up 19%) in 2023-24. And, despite continued challenges in global logistics, the cargo division reported $3.7 billion revenue, contributing 11% to the airline’s total.


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