Dubai's Emirates airline has seen its profits tumble by three-quarters in the first half of its financial year, hit by higher fuel costs and growing competition.
Profits for the state-owned carrier fell to 827 million dirhams ($225 million) in the six months ending 30 September, down from 3.4 billion dirhams ($925m) over the same period in 2010.
Emirates, whose financial year begins 1 April, said climbing fuel prices have inflicted an extra cost of one billion dollars and that the drop wouldn't deter further expansion.
"Emirates remained focused on its long-term strategy despite global instability, ever-climbing fuel prices which resulted in Emirates paying $1 billion more in fuel costs over the same period last year and fluctuating exchange rates," said the group's chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum in a statement.
Other indicators showed some improvement. Revenue climbed 16 per cent to 29.9 billion dirhams while passenger traffic, measured by by revenue passenger kilometres was up 5.7 per cent.