Emirates airline is looking to further raise Dh1.9 billion ($517 million) to fund three aircraft to be delivered this year. The Dubai-based carrier has appointed a consortium of three local Islamic banks led by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) to help raise funds. The 12-year Islamic Lease (Ijara) financing is for a total of three aircraft, a combination of Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A380s. The aircraft will be delivered between February and October 2012. Emirates is active in corporate funding markets because of its busy schedule of plane purchases; with 10 new aircrafts this year and a further 13 scheduled for delivery before the end of March next year.
In its last fleet order, Emirates placed the single largest aircraft order in dollar value in Boeing’s history for an additional 50 777-300 ER aircraft, worth approximately $18 billion in list price. The order also included 20 777-300 ER options valued at $8 billion, for a total of 70 aircraft valued at $26 billion. This record breaking long-range aircraft order adds to Emirates existing world’s largest fleet of 95 777s in service including nine 200 ERs, 10-200 LRs, 12-300s, 61-300 ERs and three freighters. Emirates had 40 777-300 ERs already on the order books taking it up to a firm order of 90 777-300 ERs.
In the first-half of its financial year 2011-12, Emirates posted strong business growth, both in terms of capacity on offer and traffic carried while making net profit of Dh827 million ($225 million). Capacity measured in available seat kms (ASKM), grew by 8.2 per cent, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in revenue passenger kms (RPKM) was up 5.7 per cent with Passenger Seat Factor sustained at a high level, averaging 79.3 per cent despite the growth in capacity, slightly below last year’s record for a six month reporting period of 81.2 per cent.
Since the beginning of 2012, the airline has beefed up its A380 network by adding Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam. Amongst its 169 aircraft in operation, Emirates has a fleet of 20 A380s which currently serve Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Manchester, Munich, New York JFK, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Toronto.
The airline has expanded its route network adding services to Lisbon, Dallas, Lusaka and Harare. Services to Seattle start on March 1, flights to Ho Chi Minh City get underway from June 4 and Barcelona joins the Emirates’ network on July 3, 2012.
In its continued bid to enhance customer experience, the airline has introduced an enhanced website functionality to passengers who prefer to manage their own travel plans. Whether it is changing the time or date of travel, adding flights, or upgrading to Emirates First Class or Business Class, www.emirates.com gives passengers the freedom to change their bookings online. The airline also inaugurated its dedicated high-tech customer contact centre in the Outsource Zone Dubai.
Emirates opened its first airport lounge on the West Coast, at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The new lounge represents a $4 million investment in the Bay Area. The Emirates Lounge at SFO is configured to seat up to 130 First and Business class passengers, and Skywards Gold members traveling from San Francisco to Dubai. With the opening of the new Lounge in SFO, Emirates now operates 30 dedicated lounges around its six-continent network.