… first in 30 years
Emirates Group lost AED 14.1 billion ($3.8 billion) and shed 24 per cent of its staff in the first six months of its latest financial year as a result of the Covid- 19 pandemic, the group said last Thursday. Group revenues dropped 74 per cent to AED 13.7 billion ($3.7 billion) in H1, compared to a profit of AED 1.2 billion ($320 million) in the same period last year.
“This dramatic revenue decline was due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Emirates group said in a statement. Emirates suspended scheduled passenger flights for eight weeks during April and May as part of the UAE’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
The group had AED 20.7 billion (US$ 5.6 billion) of cash as of 30 September 2020. “We began our current financial year amid a global lockdown when air passenger traffic was at a literal standstill,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“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 per cent of our position same time last year.” Sheikh Ahmed said: “No one can predict the future, but we expect a steep recovery in travel demand once a COVID- 19 vaccine is available, and we are readying ourselves to serve that rebound.”
The government earlier in the year injected $2 billion into Emirates to help boost liquidity and see the airline through the crisis.
The Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to March 31, 2020, was reduced by 24 per cent to an overall count of 81,334 as at 30 September 2020.