Emirates airlines, the largest Middle East carrier, said Thursday it posted a 43 percent surge in profit to $887 million last year as fuel costs dropped and passenger numbers rose. Net profit in 2013 hit 3.3 billion dirhams ($887 million) compared to 2.3 billion dirhams ($622 million) the previous year, the company announced. Fuel costs dropped by around four percent, Emirates chief Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told reporters, while passenger numbers increased 13 percent. The carrier's revenues increased 13 percent to 82.6 billion dirhams ($22.5 billion). The government-owned carrier transported a record 44.5 million passengers last year, compared to 39.4 million the previous year. Emirates fleet also increased to 217 planes from 197 in 2012-2013.