Emirates has doubled its first-half profits despite the soft and worsening global economy. The Gulf carrier made a net profit of 1.7 billion dirhams in the six months to September 30 compared with 836 million in the same period a year ago. The airlines also flew 15.4% more passengers during the period – some 18.7 million passengers – while it surged ahead with its expansion plans with an alliance with Qantas Airways and the launch of 15 new routes during the past 12 months. Fuel costs accounted for 39% of expenditure, while profits for the wider Emirates Group, including airline

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