Fast-growing Emirates airline says its half-year profits up 65 percent to $849 million

Emirates, the Middle East's biggest airline, says its half-year profits are up 65 percent due to low fuel costs and growing passenger demand.

Emirates, owned by the government of Dubai, announced its half-year earnings Thursday. It said it earned profits of 3.1 billion dirhams ($849 million) from April to September, up from 1.9 billion dirhams ($514 million) the same time last year.

Emirates said revenues were 42.3 billion dirhams ($11.5 billion), down 4.2 percent from last year's revenues of 44.2 billion ($12.0 billion). It blamed the strengthening U.S. dollar and lowering ticket prices for the decline.

Profits for the Emirates Group parent company, which includes the Dnata ground-handling business, rose to 3.7 billion dirhams ($1 billion) from 2.2 billion dirhams ($600 million).