Emirates Group saw a 68% rise in first-half profits as passenger traffic rose.

Net income climbed to $575 million for the six months ended September from $343 million a year earlier, the Dubai-based company said.

The load factor increased to 80%, while revenue and other operating income rose 17% to 38.25 billion dirhams ($10.4 billion).

Emirates Group includes Emirates airline and ground-handling unit Dnata.

Net profit at Emirates airline unit more than doubled to $464 million, while profit at Dnata fell 4% to $111 million.

“Emirates remained focused on its growth and global expansion despite on-going fluctuating exchange rates and ever lingering high fuel prices which accounted for 39 percent of our expenditures, down 2 percentage points from last year,” chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

Emirates added 15 new routes since September last year and has struck a deal with Qantas on routes between Europe and Australia via its Dubai hub.