The Dubai-based Emirates Group has posted a significant profit for the first half of its 2022-23 financial year. According to the group, it recorded a net profit of AED 42. billion across the six months, corresponding to $1.2 billion. The Emirates airline carried 20 million passengers during the half, a 228% increase year on year, showing the carrier’s strong post-pandemic recovery.

Just over two and a half years ago, the entire Emirates fleet was grounded when the United Arab Emirates closed its borders at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a strong recovery, the airline group now hopes to continue restoring its operations to pre-pandemic levels over the coming months.

Passengers up, cargo down

Emirates boosted its passenger capacity (measured in available seat kilometers) by 123% in the first six months of its financial year. In the same period, its revenue passenger kilometers increased by 265%. Aircraft were far fuller than in 2021, with an average load factor of 78.5% compared to the previous year.


Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The increase in passengers was partially responsible for the decrease in cargo. A year ago, Emirates used some of its passenger aircraft to carry freight. As these have been converted back into passenger aircraft, Emirates SkyCargo only managed to move 936,000 tonnes, a 14% decrease year on year.

According to schedule data from Cirium, the airline’s operations changed as follows between the two years (number of flights shown),

Division 2022 2021 % Change
Passenger 68,379 37,659 +85.6%
Cargo 4,338 5,079 -14.6%

Of the 68,379 passenger flights scheduled during the half, 17,367 (25%) were operated by the Airbus A380. This is a massive 245% increase from 2021, when just 5,024 Airbus A380 flights were scheduled, corresponding to 13% of the total schedule. According to fleet data from, most of the airline’s Boeing 777s are in service today, while 82 of 116 Airbus A380s (71%) are active.

Increased operating costs

Based on two key factors, Emirates’ operating costs rose significantly compared to the previous year. Firstly, overall capacity grew by 40% to 22.8 billion available tonne kilometers, and naturally, more flights mean more needs to be spent on fuel, crew, airport fees, etc…


Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Dialing in on fuel, the airline needed 65% more fuel than the previous year. However, the average price of oil also doubled. Fuel accounted for around 38% of the airline’s operating costs this half, compared to just 20% the previous year.

What about dnata?

The airline portion of the Emirates Group posted a record profit of AED 4 billion ($1.1 billion) following a more considerable loss last year. dnata, which handles airport operations at airports worldwide, saw a much smaller profit. For the half, dnata posted AED 236 million ($64 million) profit, around three times that of last year.

The different divisions of dnata each saw uplifts in revenue, though they weren’t consistent,

  • Airport Operations – 37% revenue increase
  • Flight Catering – 212% revenue increase
  • Travel Division – 708% revenue increase

What do you make of the Emirate Group’s H1 2022 profits? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Sources:, Cirium, Emirates

  • Emirates, Airbus A380, Penultimate


    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Dubai International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

    United Arab Emirates


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