Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, reported a $5.5 billion financial loss for the last year, with revenue falling by more than 66 percent as a result of worldwide travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus epidemic.
It’s the first time in more than three decades that the parent company of the Dubai-based airline hasn’t made a profit, emphasising the magnitude of COVID-19’s influence on the aviation sector.
Revenue fell by $8.4 billion, despite a 46 percent reduction in operational expenses, according to the Dubai-based airline.
Over the last year, the airline’s overall passenger and cargo capacity has decreased by 58 percent. The previous year, Emirates made a profit of $288 million.
Last year, the airline transported just 6.6 million passengers, a startling drop of over 90% from the previous year.
Emirates Group, which also owns dnata and provides airport ground services, suffered a $6 billion deficit.
Last year, Dubai’s government threw the state-owned long-haul carrier a $2 billion lifeline to avoid a financial crisis, demonstrating how bad the situation had become for one of the world’s leading airlines.
Due to a temporary closure of airports in the United Arab Emirates, including transit flights through Dubai — Emirates‘ hub and the world’s busiest airport for international travel — the airline was obliged to cancel all passenger flights for roughly eight weeks beginning in March 2020.
The epidemic “has been one of the toughest challenges humankind has faced,” according to a brief statement given by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the outset of the company’s annual report.
He referred to his own country’s response to the epidemic, which differed greatly from one emirate to the next and was primarily reliant on local rulers’ judgments.
“We were put to the test in terms of our capacity to cope with this unanticipated event, but we came out stronger,” he added.
Over the last year, the airline, which is noted for its luxurious first-class cabins, excellent service, and contemporary aircraft, got three new Airbus 380 aircraft and phased out 14 older planes. It presently has a fleet of 259 planes, which includes cargo planes.
Despite the financial losses, the firm stated that it will continue to place orders for 200 new aircraft as part of its “long-standing objective of managing a modern and efficient fleet.”