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The Middle East’s biggest airline, Emirates, says its profit jumped 40 percent during the last fiscal year, driven by rapid expansion and helped by a drop in fuel prices.

The Dubai government-owned carrier said Thursday it earned 4.56 billion dirhams ($1.24 billion) compared with the 3.25 billion dirhams ($885.6 million) it earned a year earlier.

Sales for the year rose 7 percent to 88.82 billion dirhams ($24.2 billion).

Emirates is expanding rapidly with a primarily wide-body fleet that funnels long-haul travelers through its fast-expanding hub in Dubai.

Photo Credit: An Emirates airline passenger jet taxis on the tarmac at Dubai International airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Kamran Jebreili / Associated Press