Emirates airline makes boarding from Dubai fully digital; Emirates Group posts USD3 billion profit

From May 15, all passengers of Emirates airline departing from Dubai International Airport (DXB) will be using a mobile boarding pass instead of a printed boarding pass. This step of fully digitalising the boarding pass and the checked-in baggage receipt has been taken for both convenience and cost control by cutting down on paper wastage. The announcement came just a day after the Emirates Group posted a record profit of USD3 billion for the financial year 2022-23, which is more than a complete recovery from the loss incurred in the previous financial year.

Mobile boarding pass

The Emirates digital boarding pass will be valid for Dubai Duty Free. Picture courtesy: Twitter/@emirates

An Emirates media release yesterday said: “Taking a step forward in its drive to offer customers the convenience and assurance of digitally enabled travel journeys, Emirates will require most passengers departing Dubai to use a mobile boarding pass instead of a printed paper version, from 15 May onwards.

“Passengers checking in at Terminal 3 [of DXB] will receive their mobile boarding pass via email or SMS. Passengers who check in online can load their boarding pass into their Apple Wallet or Google Wallet, or retrieve their boarding pass on the user-friendly Emirates App. The checked-in baggage receipt is also emailed directly to passengers, or available in the Emirates App.

“This initiative will significantly reduce paper waste, while simultaneously offering a convenient and speedy digitised check-in experience for passengers departing Dubai. It reduces the risk of lost or misplaced boarding passes, giving passengers peace of mind when travelling.

“The mobile boarding pass can be used throughout the travel journey — in Dubai Duty Free, at security and for boarding, simply by showing the boarding pass on the phone. Emirates agents and airport staff will simply scan the QR code on the mobile boarding pass as passengers move through the airport and onto the aircraft.”

Emirates indicated that provisions had been made for the few passengers who still might need a paper pass. It said: “Some passengers may still require a physical boarding pass to be printed — for instance, when travelling with infants, unaccompanied minors, passengers requiring special assistance, passengers with onward flights on other airlines, and all passengers travelling on flights to the US.”

The release informed: “The option to print a boarding pass is available by request to Emirates agents at check-in counters, if passengers do not have a mobile device, or if they are unable to access the information on their devices for reasons such as: running out of battery power, a system breakdown or glitch, message delivery delay, or inability to access wi-fi, network or a data package.”

Emirates Group posts record profit

Emirates was named the ‘Best Airline Worldwide’ for the 10th year in a row at the recent Business Traveller Middle East awards. Picture courtesy: Twitter/@emirates

The Emirates Group on Thursday released its financial year 2022-23 Annual Report, reporting its most profitable year ever on the back of strong demand across its businesses. This is a complete turnaround from its loss position last year.

Both Emirates airline and dnata (Dubai National Air Travel Agency) saw significant revenue increases in 2022-23 as the Group expanded its air transport and travel-related operations following the removal of nearly all pandemic-related restrictions around the world.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2023, the Emirates Group posted a record profit of AED10.9 billion (USD3 billion) compared with an AED3.8 billion (USD1 billion) loss for last year. The Group’s revenue was AED119.8 billion (USD32.6 billion), an increase of 81 per cent over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED42.5 billion (USD11.6 billion), the highest ever reported, up 65 per cent from last year, mainly due to strong demand across its core business divisions and markets.

In a media release, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group, said, “We’re proud of our 2022-23 performance, which is not only a full recovery, but also a record result. This achievement would not have been possible without HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, whose leadership has been critical to our success today and through the years.”

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed added, “I am proud of the Emirates Group’s performance for 2022-23, and our contribution to the restoration of air transport and tourism across the markets we serve, including Dubai’s astounding 97 per cent year-on-year growth in international visitors for 2022. The Group is the biggest player in the UAE’s aviation sector, which supports over 770,000 jobs and generates an estimated contribution to GDP of over USD47 billion (AED172.5 billion).”

Commenting on the Group’s 2022-23 turnaround performance, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said, “We had anticipated the strong return of travel, and as the last travel restrictions lifted and triggered a tide of demand, we were ready to expand our operations quickly and safely to serve our customers. Our ongoing investments in our brand, and in our products and services, helped drive customer preference and position us favourably in the market.”

To support expanded operations and to bolster the Group’s future capabilities, Emirates and dnata ramped up recruitment activity across the globe during the year. As a result, the Group’s total workforce increased by 20 per cent to 102,379 employees, representing over 160 different nationalities.

Investments in aviation and travel

Emirates posted a photo of the first 777 aircraft to get the fresh livery of the airline. Picture courtesy: Twitter/@emirates

In 2022-23, the Emirates Group collectively invested AED7.2 billion (USD2 billion) in new aircraft, facilities, equipment, companies, and the latest technologies to position the business for future growth.

The Group’s commitments include: a massive multi-billion dollar aircraft cabin retrofit programme; an order for five new 777 freighters; the building of a new pilot training centre; the opening of Bustanica, the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai under a partnership with CropOne; new training aircraft for cadets at Emirates Flight Training Academy; dnata’s acquisition of 30 per cent shares to gain full ownership of its ground handling operations in Brazil; and the building of a new advanced cargo facility in Erbil, Iraq.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said, “We go into 2023-24 with a strong positive outlook and expect the Group to remain profitable. We will work hard to hit our targets while keeping a close watch on inflation, high fuel prices, and political and economic uncertainty.”