Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, continues to maintain its position as the world’s largest carrier measured by international traffic for the second consecutive year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The Dubai-based airline ranked ahead of Deutsche Lufthansa and Delta, though Air France-KLM would have ranked first had its two main operating units been combined, according to new industry rankings for 2010 released by the global aviation body on Tuesday.
Last month Emirates Group Chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum also revealed that the airline is the world’s largest airline by scheduled international passenger kilometres flown.
A passenger kilometre is a unit to calculate traffic by multiplying the passenger numbers by the number of kilometres each passenger has flown; a similar method is used for cargo.
For cargo, Emirates airline ranked third globally by scheduled freight tonne kilometres, according to the IATA. Cathay Pacific Airways ranked top while Korean Air got second place.
Emirates continues to dismiss the perceived limitations of the aviation industry, advocating for an open skies environment that stimulates competition, an undeniable positive for the customer. During financial year 2010-11, the airline recorded a 14.5 per cent growth in passenger carried compared to previous year, the carrier had announced in its annual results last month.
Despite the IATA forecast of decline in profitability of Middle Eastern airlines, Emirates airline continues to record significant increase in net profit.
The largest airline of the Arab world declared a 53 per cent jump in its annual net profit as the carrier earned Dh5.4 billion profit, compared to Dh3.5 billion during 2009-2010.
The airline’s passenger seat factor, at 80 per cent, indicates the airline’s highest ever, a remarkable achievement given a substantial increase in seat capacity of 13 per cent. The overall capacity, measured in ‘available tonne kilometres’ rose 12.4 per cent to 32,057 million tonne-kilometres.
The IATA represents around 93 per cent of scheduled international air traffic. Jazeera Airways on Tuesday announced that it was inducted into the IATA as a full airline-member during the IATA’s 67th Annual General Meeting which was held in Singapore. Jazeera Airways said it has become the 238th airline-member of the global aviation organisation.