The Dubai-based carrier has reported net profits of AED284m ($77m) during the first six months of the company’s financial year, which ended 30 September. This was a drop of 88 per cent from the AED2.36bn recorded during the same period in 2007.

In the days leading up to the announcement, Emirates officials warned that the airline’s profits would have plummeted from 2007.

The company’s fuel costs during the first half of 2008 have more than doubled, to AED9.2bn, from AED4.1bn, with crude oil prices averaging $122 per barrel during the period.

Fuel prices tripled in a year between late 2007 and this summer.

Over the full year for 2007-8, Emirates raised a record $1.4bn in net profits, but even then, the airline admitted that fuel costs for the financial year had been $500m over budget.

Despite the impact of fuel costs however, Emirates’ passenger traffic rose 11 per cent and passenger yield increased 20 per cent.