Aviation Emirates bounces back in 2017 despite difficult conditions By Robert Silk / May 09, 2018 Share 1 -- Profits at Emirates rebounded in the 2017 fiscal year, reversing the previous year's slumping results. The largest of the Gulf carriers reported a profit of $762 million in the fiscal year that ended March 31, up 124% from the year before. Emirates' profit margin was 3%, double what it was in 2016, though still well below the 8.4% margin the carrier reported in 2015. Emirates Group CEO Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the carrier benefitted from a recovery in the air cargo industry as well as the strengthening of key currencies against the U.S. dollar. Still, Al Maktoum said that business conditions were difficult in 2017 due to worldwide political instability, devaluations in Africa and "relentless competition."Emirates previously said that last spring's U.S. ban on carry-on laptops, as well as the Trump administration's policies related to travel from the Middle East, hurt its U.S. business. This spring, Emirates will increase frequency or seat capacity on three of the five U.S. routes in which it instituted cuts last spring. After rapid growth for several years, Emirates and fellow Gulf carriers Etihad and Qatar have had tougher times in the last two years due to the weakened energy sector, investment blunders in the case of Etihad, and an intraregional diplomatic dispute that has ended Qatar's ability to fly to five countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.