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DUBAI: Dubai’s Emirates Group on Thursday said financial year 2022-23 had been its most profitable so far, reporting an annual profit of 10.9 billion dirhams ($3 billion) and a group revenue increase of 81% to $33 billion.

Emirates airline, which along with airport services business dnata makes up Emirates Group, made a $2.9 billion profit. The state-owned carrier had posted an annual loss of $1.1 billion for 2021-22, following a $5.5 billion loss the year before that.

The airline had made a “full recovery” since the hit to demand caused by the pandemic, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

“As the last travel restrictions lifted and triggered a tide of demand, we were ready to expand our operations quickly,” he said.

Emirates airline said it filled 79.5% of seats flown, up from 58.6% a year earlier, and was now flying to 150 destinations from more than 140 last year.

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The group’s global airport and travel services business dnata made a $90 million profit, representing a 201% year-on-year increase.

Emirates also said it had committed $200 million to a research fund focusing on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation, because hitting net zero emissions targets would not be possible with currently available options.

Emirates Group said it invested $2 billion in new aircraft, facilities, equipment, companies, and technology in 2022-23.

Its order book stands at 200 aircraft, it said.

Sheikh Ahmed said the group expected to remain profitable in 2023-24, “while keeping a close watch on inflation, high fuel prices, and political and economic uncertainty”.

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