Even as Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo moved to reduce ACMI-leased 747-400F capacity last year, the carrier’s cargo unit reported growth for its 2018-2019 financial year, which ended 31 March. Cargo revenues rose 5.0% year-over-year, accounting for about 14% of the airline’s total transport revenue. Volumes increased 1.4% to 2.66 million tonnes while cargo yields, meanwhile, were up 2.7%, according to financial results released by the Emirates Group.
After a two-year period of fleet stability that began in 2015, Emirates started to shake things up in March 2017 with an announcement that it would not be renewing leases on two 747-400Fs it had long ACMI leased. Between 2015, when Emirates took delivery of a 13th 777F, the 747-400Fs had complemented the carrier’s own-operated 777F capacity. Shortly following the announcement, Emirates and Cargolux announced a codesharing partnership that has Cargolux supplementing some of the lost 747F capacity with at least one aircraft.
Last month, Emirates returned an off-lease 777F to Titan Aviation, which turned around and leased the aircraft to fellow Atlas affiliate Southern Air. It appears that this capacity has been replaced by an Etihad-operated 777F. According to data from flight-tracking software FlightRadar24, a 777F delivered to Etihad late last year has been flying regularly between Dubai (DWC) and Hong Kong (HKG).
Returning to Emirates’ FY19 performance, overall, the airline posted a profit of US$237 million (AED871 million) for the financial year, representing a y-o-y decline of 69%. Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman, Emirates Airline called the 2018-2019 financial year “tough” and blamed the weaker performance on steeper oil prices, intense competition, and faltering demand.