Emirates, Dubai's flagship carrier, has today reported a 56% jump in annual net profit from its airline operations.

Lower oil prices helped to reduce the airline's operating costs, its chief executive said. 

The world's fourth-largest carrier of international passengers reported a profit of 7.1 billion dirhams ($1.93 billion) for the financial year to March 31, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told a news conference. 

The airline's fuel bill fell by 31% on the year to 19.7 billion dirhams, and made up 26% of operating costs, compared with 35% the same time a year earlier. 

The lower fuel costs and an 8% rise in passengers to 51.9 million helped offset pressures from foreign exchange moves.

Revenue fell 4% to 85 billion dirhams after a 6 billion dirham hit due to the exchange rate.

"Looking at the year ahead, we expect that the low oil prices will continue to be a double-edged sword - a boon for our operating costs, but a bane for global business and consumer confidence," Sheikh Ahmed, who is also chairman, said in a statement. 

"The strong US dollar against major currencies will remain a challenge, as will the looming threat of protectionism in some countries," he added, without specifying. 

The world's biggest customer of the Airbus A380 superjumbo said profit for the wider Emirates Group, which includes airline services arm Dnata, rose 50% to 8.2 billion dirhams. 

Total operating costs fell 8% over the same period. 

Emirates will pay a dividend of 2.5 billion dirhams to Investment Corporation of Dubai, the state investment vehicle which owns the airline and stakes in other Dubai companies. It paid 2.6 billion dirhams for the previous year.