Emirates said it achieved its best-ever financial performance, with group profit for the fiscal year surging 71% to 18.7 billion dirhams ($5.1 billion) as long-haul travel continued to rebound from the pandemic. 

Profit at the airline business rose 63% to 17.2 billion dirhams in the financial year ended March, Emirates said in a statement on Monday, while earnings at ground-handling and operations business Dnata more than quadrupled to 1.4 billion dirhams. State-owned Emirates said it plans to pay dividend 4 billion dirhams to its owner, the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

“The business outlook is positive, and we expect customer demand for air transport and travel to remain strong in the coming months,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in the release. 

The world’s biggest international airline has enjoyed huge passenger flows through its hub in Dubai, helping boost profit even as the airline industry grapples with geopolitical tensions and rising oil prices. In order to accommodate its growth plans, Dubai’s government is proceeding with a $35 billion expansion of its second hub, Al Maktoum International Airport, which it said will eventually be the new home for Emirates and Dnata’s operations.

Emirates still has a large fleet of aircraft on order, mostly for the still-uncertified Boeing Co. 777X model. As a result of that model’s long delays, the airline last week said it would be expanding its cabin upgrade program to modernize the interior of another 43 Airbus SE A380 and 28 older-generation 777 aircraft, taking the retrofit program to 191 planes. 

The company also expects to take delivery of 10 Airbus A350 aircraft in the coming fiscal year, it said on Monday.