Emirates’ annual cargo volumes edge ahead despite “significant headwinds”

The Emirates Group Annual Report | 2018-2019

Dubai aviation giant Emirates Group faced “significant headwinds” in global airfreight during the 2018-19 financial year which saw its airline record a 1.4% rise in airfreight volumes to just under 2.7m tonnes.

The Middle East group’s cargo handling arm dnata saw near static volumes in 2018-19, edging ahead just 0.3%, to around 3.1m tonnes.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Financial year 2018-19 was an interesting period of contrasts and challenges for the aviation industry. While global passenger traffic was up through the year, it was buffeted by shifting economic realities and geopolitics.”

Writing in the annual report, sheikh Ahmed added: “Demand for air cargo faced significant headwinds and, according to IATA, global economic activity and consumer confidence weakened by March this year.

“The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) indicated falling global export orders since September 2018. Political posturing and slow progress on pressing global issues, including several ongoing trade wars, Brexit and the refugee crisis, conspired to bog down the global economic outlook even further.”

Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark said: “Emirates SkyCargo bucked the trend and did us proud with a strong performance in a highly competitive market with weak demand. The division contributed 14% of the airline’s total transport revenue and played a role in expanding our network.”

Emirates SkyCargo’s annual airfreight tonnage and cargo revenues at AED13.1bn, versus AED 12.4bn in the prior year, “both crossed record levels”. Freight tonne kms (FTK) increased by 2.3% to 13.7bn and the yield per FTK increased by 2.7% over the previous year “resulting from a better cargo tariff mix”.

Dnata, which includes passenger ground handling, catering services and cargo handling, saw revenue and other operating income rise by 10.3% to AED14.4bn. 

Gary Chapman, president of Group Services and dnata, said: “We strengthened our position in the freight forwarding industry, both regionally and globally, by acquiring more shares to become the owner of Dubai Express, Freightworks LLC and a 51% majority stakeholder of Bolloré Logistics LLC, UAE that operates in 106 countries.

“The cargo team invested in technology to achieve a more efficient flow of operations. Our new One Cargo tool, a first for ground handlers, digitised our customers’ booking process and service, ensuring a seamless experience at delivery bays. One Cargo connects our global operations on a single technology platform.”

Chapman continued: “Our new global cargo management system One Cargo is set to automate our key business and operational functions, including ULD management, quality monitoring and mail management, through real-time info. By 2020, more than 5,000 employees across 27 stations in 10 countries, from the US to Australia, will use One Cargo.”


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