Emirates to raise savings targets by 50%

Emirates plans to increase its cost saving targets by 50 per cent this year to $150 million (Dh550m) due to escalating oil prices, said the airline's president Tim Clark. The airline had said recently it would seek cost savings of at least $100m.

"We have got to strip costs further. Last year, we had set ourselves a target of $100m. We will probably have to increase that now because if the fuel price stays where it is, we will have to mitigate the risk by a further cost strip-out. So we will move that up by another 50 per cent this year," Clark said.

Opec President, Chakib Khelil said earlier this week that oil prices are expected to touch $200 a barrel before the end of the year.

Clark further said the airline is looking at cutting costs behind the scenes.

"It is not easy because we are growing our business. I always leave cost savings to the last because it is the easiest and the most painful thing to do," Clark said.

With regards to the measures Emirates is planning to take to cut costs, Clark said: "We have got a number of ways to do this. For instance, we are using fuel efficient aircraft besides looking at structural measures."

"Also, Concourse 2 and Terminal 3 together is more than twice the size of London Heathrow's Terminal 5. So you can imagine the scales trying to organise that when you are trying to take costs out," he said.