Dubai's Emirates Airline said today that its annual profits surged 40% to $1.2 billion as revenues increased and fuel costs dropped. 

The Middle East's largest carrier said revenues rose 7% to $24.2 billion with passenger numbers up 11% to 49.3 million in the financial year 2014-15. 

The company said a significant drop in the price of jet fuel had reduced operating costs by 7% to $7.8 billion. Fuel represented 35% of the airline's operating costs, down from 39% the previous year. 

Emirates said it faced challenges including a weaker US dollar, to which the UAE dirham is pegged, as well as an 80-day runway closure at its hub for upgrading. 

The airline operates the world's largest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s.