Emirates Airline will not revise expansion plans


Emirates Airline will not revise its ambitious expansion plans in the spread of the global financial crisis, its vice chairman said last Friday.


Maurice Flanagan told news wire Bloomberg that the airline had no intentions of deferring any of its plane orders, which include 55 more of Airbus’s A380 superjumbos. Emirates has already taken delivery of three A380s.

The global financial crisis has hit demand for air travel, with global air passenger traffic falling for a second straight month in October, according to industry figures, but Flanagan predicted traffic would pick back up within a year.

Emirates Airline is expected to post profit of around $500 million at the end of its current fiscal year in March, compared to $1.4 billion for its previous fiscal year. The fall was “entirely” down to rising fuel costs.

In future Arab airlines including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways will increase their combined fleets by almost two-thirds to 900 aircraft by 2015 from 550 in 2006, according to the Arab Carriers Organization.

Dubai is spending $33 billion to build another airport, the Dubai World Central, which will be 10 times the size of the existing airfield as it seeks to become a transportation hub in the Middle East. That facility will be able to handle 120 million people when completed.


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