Emirates’ Half Year Loss Of $3.8 Billion

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The Emirates Group today shared its half-year results for its 2020-21 financial year. The Dubai-based company recorded a loss of AED 14.1 billion ($3.8 billion). This figure parallels last year’s profit of AED 1.2 billion ($320 million).

Emirates a380 getty images
As expected in the current global climate, the figures aren’t thrilling for the airline. Photo: Getty Images

Numbers are down

Within a press release seen by Simple Flying, Emirates emphasizes that the global health crisis has significantly taken its toll on the group. Stringent worldwide travel restrictions and a drop in passenger demand rocked the commercial airline industry.

As a result, revenue is down 74% to AED 13.7 billion ($3.7 billion) for the first six months of the financial year. This figure is down 74% from AED 53.3 billion ($14.5 billion) for the same period last year.

Both the airline of Emirates and the Dubai National Air Transport Association’s (dnata) financials were severely impacted. There are struggles for both branches, with Emirates losing $3.4 billion and dnata reporting a loss of $396 million.

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B777-300ER Emirates
During the first six months of the financial year, overall capacity reduced by 67% to 9.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM), and Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) declined by 96%. Photo: Getty Images

Industry difficulties

Emirates chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum took a moment to speak about these results. He highlighted the valiant efforts throughout the group to reduce the impact of the conditions.

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“We began our current financial year amid a global lockdown when air passenger traffic was at a literal standstill. In this unprecedented situation for the aviation and travel industry, the Emirates Group recorded a half-year loss for the first time in over 30 years. As passenger traffic disappeared, Emirates and dnata have been able to rapidly pivot to serve cargo demand and other pockets of opportunity. This has helped us recover our revenues from zero to 26% of our position same time last year,” he said in the press release.

“The Emirates Group’s resilience in the face of current headwinds is testimony to the strength of our business model, and our years of continued investment in skills, technology and infrastructure which are now paying off in terms of cost and operational efficiency. Emirates and dnata have also built strong brands and agile digital capabilities which continue to serve us well, and enabled us to respond adeptly to the accelerated shift of customer and business activities online over the past 6 months.”

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Emirates A380
The airline carried 1.5 million passengers in the six months leading up to September 30th, and many of these travelers were on repatriation missions. Photo: Getty Images

The challenge continues

The Emirates Group founder also acknowledged the support of the company’s customers and stakeholders in the challenging conditions. The future is hard to predict. However, the firm expects a steep recovery in travel demand after a coronavirus vaccine is rolled out.

Until then, the group has been able to tap into its strong cash reserves. Moreover, through its shareholder and the broader financial community, the business continues to ensure that it has sufficient funding. For instance, in the first half of 2020-21, shareholders pumped $2 billion into Emirates through equity investments.

Since March 31st, the group’s employee base has been significantly reduced by 24%. As of September 30th, the number of staff members stands at 81,334. Emirates also retired three older aircraft as part of efficiency efforts.

Altogether, like most aviation groups, Emirates has had a tough 2020 amid the pandemic. However, it is hopeful of better conditions in 2021. The company is playing its part in the fight against the virus as it has implemented several biosecurity measures, and it is also preparing for the rollout of the potential vaccine.

What are your thoughts on Emirates’ half-year performance for 2020-21? Do you expect similar numbers over the next period? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.

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