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DUBAI: Emirates reported a full-year loss of $ 5.5 billion, the first time it has fallen into the red in more than 30 years.
The results highlight the devastating impact of the pandemic on the carrier that has helped Dubai become one of the world’s most important international aviation hubs.
The total number of employees of the wider Emirates group, which includes dnata, fell by more than 33,000 during the year, with its workforce dropping 31% to around 75,000. It carried 6.6 million passengers during the year, down 88% from the previous year.
“No one knows when the pandemic will be over, but we know the recovery will be uneven,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, CEO of Emirates Airline and Group. “Economies and businesses that have entered a pandemic period from a position of strength will be in a better position to bounce back. “
While the pandemic has had a brutal impact on airlines around the world, the crisis has had a different impact on carriers and airports, depending on their routes and passenger profiles. Because Emirates relies heavily on international travel without a home network, it has not taken advantage of the rebound in domestic air travel to other parts of the world, such as the United States and China.
“It is not surprising that Emirates reported a substantial loss and, like all airlines, the recovery will take some time,” aviation consultant John Strickland told Arab News. “In the short term, however, he was able to benefit from the freight capacities of his 777-300ERs. It is already evaluating options for the future shape of its fleet and network as new types of aircraft enter its fleet and will extend the close partnership with flydubai, which will also increase its flexibility for network development options. .
Emirates Group revenue fell 66% to $ 9.7 billion during the year. The company said it received a capital injection of 11.3 billion dirhams ($ 3.1 billion) from its ultimate shareholder, the government of Dubai. His dnata unit, which includes ground handling, travel services and catering, also received 800 million dirhams in relief, he said.
Emirates reduced costs across the group by renegotiating contracts and restructuring financial obligations, resulting in estimated savings of 7.7 billion dirhams for the year, he said.
Sheikh Ahmed said the airline aims to recover its full operating capacity as quickly as possible.
“With Dubai’s undiminished ambitions to expand economic activity and build a city for the future, I am confident that Emirates and dnata will recover and be stronger than before,” he said.
Emirates’ total passenger and freight capacity fell 58%. It received three new A380s during the fiscal year and phased out 14 older aircraft, including 9 Boeing 777-300ERs and 5 A380s, leaving its total fleet at 259 at the end of March.
Its order book of 200 aircraft remains unchanged.