Emirates eyeing $1 billion in profits – IPO launch in a couple of years: Al-Maktoum

Emirates will float a 20-30% stake as soon as it receives approval from the government, chairman and CEO, Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum has said in a wide-ranging interview with Emirates Business 24/7. He also said that Emirates is hoping to achieve a profit of $1 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, though rising fuel prices may likely have an impact.

On the IPO issue, Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said, "We are talking about selling 20%-30% of the company within the region. From the day the government presses the button to go ahead, it will take us another year or two to launch the IPO."

Al-Maktoum also said that it remains committed to selling its stake in Sri Lankan Airlines and also clarified that Emirates had "no plans at all to pick up a stake in any other airline." But he clarified, "if there is a good opportunity that we would not want to miss out on, then we will make the call."

Here, he mentioned, "…sometimes it is easy to buy things but not so easy to manage them."

On the issue of profits Al-Maktoum said that he believed that a $1 billion surplus was achievable for the full year. "I hope so," Al-Maktoum said. "But the fuel price has touched $100. That is going to have an impact."

He also clarified that the airline had no plans to split its operation between Dubai International and the new airport being built at Jebel Ali. "Emirates will always stay within one airport," he declared.

The airline plans to launch services to eight new destinations this year and also take delivery of 22 new aircraft.