November 13, 2018 / 8:20 AM / a month ago

Airline Emirates warns oil, dollar to hit first-half profit

FILE PHOTO: The Emirates airlines logo is seen on the back door of a plane at Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

DUBAI (Reuters) - Emirates earnings are being squeezed by higher oil prices, a strong dollar, and instability in the global economy, the airline’s chief commercial officer said on Tuesday.

The warning came ahead of Emirates’ half-year financial results for the period ending September 30, which will be released on Thursday.

“The profit will be badly hit by the fuel,” Thierry Antinori said at an aviation conference in Dubai, adding that the airline’s fuel costs had risen by 40 percent. “It’s difficult to manage.”

The airline’s profit more than doubled to 2.8 billion dirhams ($762 million) last year.

But this year concerns about the global economy and political instability are hurting profit, Antinori said.

“It’s not been a walk in the park,” he said of the first-half.

The airline is optimistic despite pressure on margins; passengers numbers rose in the first half and its cargo unit is “excelling”, Antinori said. “We see the glass half-full. There is always opportunity.”

Chief Executive of sister airline flydubai Ghaith al-Ghaith issued a similar warning, telling the conference higher oil prices had made it a tough year.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Jason Neely

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