Emirates’ Losses Halve As Its A380 Recovery Accelerates

Releasing its half-year financial results for its 2021-2022 fiscal year today, Emirates (like much of the industry) is reporting significant growth and recovery from the impact of the global health crisis. Hailed by the airline as a “dramatic turnaround” and “strong return to operating profitability,” let’s take a look at how the details of Emirates faired over the past six months.

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The Emirates Group includes the airline but also other subsidiaries like its dnata ground services division. Photo: Dubai International Airport

Before getting into the financials, we should note that reporting was provided for the entire Emirates Group, including its dnata division. dnata offers service pertaining to cargo and ground handling, catering, and retail. In this article, we will only focus on the Emirates airline portion of financial reporting.

Not yet turning a profit

Taking a celebratory and optimistic tone, Emirates Group revealed its financial performance over the past six months. For its highest-profile division, Emirates (the airline), a net loss of  AED 5.8 billion ($1.6 billion) was reported. While not yet a profit, the carrier has made amazing progress when considering it experienced a loss of AED 12.6 billion ($3.4 billion) over the same period in the prior year. Indeed, the airline lost about half as much as it did last year.

Emirates revenue was up 86% compared with the same period last year, which the airline says is a reflection of a “quick return of passenger demand wherever flight and travel restrictions were eased around the world.”

The airline’s CEO, His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum also included a message of thanks to his airline’s customers for their “continued support, as well as all our aviation and travel industry stakeholders and partners for their efforts that have made it possible for international air travel to resume safely and smoothly.”

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Emirates’ recovery is aided by the reactivation of part of its grounded fleet. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Driving profitability

Driving Emirates’ upward trending revenue was an increase in overall capacity, which went up 66% to 16.3 billion Available Tonne Kilometers (ATKM). This was made possible with a substantially expanded flight program as more countries eased restrictions.

The airline’s capacity (measured in Available Seat Kilometres, or ASKMs) more than tripled by 250%, while its Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) went up by 335%. The carrier’s average Passenger Seat Factor was 47.9%, compared to 38.6% during the same period last year.

Other key figures pertaining to the reporting period include 6.1 million passengers carried (up 319%), and 1.1 million tonnes of cargo transported (an increase of 39%).

“Our cargo transport and handling businesses continued to perform strongly, providing the bedrock upon which we were able to quickly reinstate passenger services. 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 path…” -His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO, Emirates

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Photo: SkyCargo

Beyond the numbers

While numbers and dollar amounts can say a lot about an airline, let’s look beyond these figures and see what Emirates changed in this recent period.

According to the airline, two new Airbus A380s were delivered during the first six months of its 2021-22 fiscal year. In the same period, however, it retired two older aircraft from its fleet “as part of its long-standing strategy to improve overall efficiency, minimize its emissions footprint, and provide high-quality customer experiences.”

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Emirates has come a long way from having all of its Airbus A380s parked and in storage. Photo: Emirates

Other key moves include:

  • The laying on of additional flights as travel restrictions were lifted or relaxed.
  • The launch of service to the new destination of Miami,
  • The activation of codeshare and interline partnerships with Airlink, Aeromar, Azul, Comair, and South African Airways
  • Implementing worldwide use of the IATA Travel Pass
  • Reinstating more signature lounge and Chauffeur Drive services at key airports outside of Dubai.

By September 30th, Emirates says it was operating passenger and cargo services to 139 airports, using its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 37 A380s.

Do you think Emirates will be able to report a profit when it completes the same period in 2022-2023? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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