Emirates Airlines: Profits are still "somewhat low" even as losses are halved

Image: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock.com

Emirates cut its net losses in half in the first six months of the 2021-2022 financial year, but said there was still a way to go before it could return to profitability.

The world's largest operator of the giant Airbus A380 said on November 10, 2021 that the easing of travel restrictions boosted demand and increased revenue during the period. However, its owner had to provide more funding to get through the crisis.

"This momentum accelerated during the summer and continues to grow steadily into the winter and beyond," CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a press release. “While there is still some way to go before we bring our operations back to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the path to recovery with healthy revenue and a strong cash balance at the end of the first half of 2021-22.”

During the six months ending September 30, 2021, the Dubai-based airline recorded a loss of 5.8 billion UAE dirhams (US$1.6 billion), compared to a loss of 12.6 billion UAE dirhams (US$3.4 billion) one year earlier. Its revenue increased 86%.

Emirates flew 1.1 million tons of cargo, a year-on-year increase of 39%, reaching 90% of pre-pandemic levels in terms of handling volume.

During the six months to September 30, 2021, the airline took delivery of two new Airbus A380s and retired two older aircraft. Emirates said it will operate passenger and freight services to 139 airports by September 30, 2021, using its entire fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft and 37 of its A380s.

The government provided an additional 2.5 billion dirhams (US$681 million) to Emirates Airlines through equity investment. "They continue to support the airline on its recovery path," the company said in the statement.

Emirates Group's smaller dnata division, which provides ground handling and catering services, returned to profit in the six months, posting a net profit of Dh85 million (US$23 million), compared to last year's loss of Dh1.5 billion (US$396 million).

Emirates continues to ramp up its operations, announcing its plans on October 24, 2021 to hire an additional 6,000 employees. The Gulf airline also said it expects to operate more than 50 A380s by the end of 2021.

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