Emirates Group, the owner of the world’s biggest long-haul airline before the Covid-19 crisis, reported a reduced half-year loss as travel restrictions eased throughout the globe and demand rose.
“Across the business, we witnessed operations and demand ramp up as countries began to lift travel restrictions,” chairman and chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said. “This momentum intensified during the summer and continues to expand gradually into the winter season and beyond.”
The business recorded a nett loss of AED5.7 billion (US$1.6bn), compared with an AED14.1bn (US$3.9bn) loss last year, but sales for the six months grew 81 per cent to AED24.7bn (US$6.7bn). Losses at its airline operations reduced to AED5.8bn (US$1.6bn).
International travel is beginning to pick up again, with the US opening up flights from Europe and nations such as India, Brazil, and China. Emirates generated positive weekly cash flow for the first time since the pandemic began, president Sir Tim Clark told Airline Ratings in an interview published November 7. He is seeking to rebuild its route network by June or July 2022 completely.
Emirates is being aided by better yields on both passenger and cargo divisions, Clark added. He said extra passenger aircraft are offering more capacity to fill with belly freight.
The state-owned company received a capital infusion of $681 million in the first half from its owner, the government of Dubai. It had received $3.1bn in funding from the government in the financial year ending March.
“While there’s still some way to go before, we restore our operations to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the recovery road with robust revenue and a respectable cash position after our first half of 2021-22,” Sheikh Ahmed said.
The Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to March 31, 2021, declined somewhat by 2 per cent to an aggregate figure of 73,571 on September 30, 2021.
During the first six months of 2021-22, Emirates took delivery of two new A380s and retired two older aircraft from its fleet as part of its long-standing aim to increase overall efficiency, decrease its environmental impact, and offer high-quality customer experiences.
Emirates handled 6.1 million passengers between April 1 and September 30, 2021, increasing 319 per cent from the same period last year.
The cargo hoisted at 1.1 million tonnes has climbed by 39 per cent, which takes the firm back to 90 per cent of pre-pandemic (2019) levels by volume handled.