Emirates group posts net loss of $3.8bn for half year 2020-21


…Emirates airline posts $3.4bn loss after a half-year profit


Posted by Sade Williams 

The Emirates  Group has reported a 2020-21 half-year net loss of US$ 3.8 billion.

This is contained in its half-year results for its 2020-21 financial year.

Group revenue, according g to the airlines ‘ group was US$ 3.7 billion for the first six
months of 2020-21, down 74% from US$ 14.5 billion during the same period last year.

The airline attributed the dramatic revenue decline to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought global air passenger travel to a
halt for many weeks as countries closed their borders and imposed travel restrictions.

As part of pandemic containment measures, Emirates and dnata’s hub in Dubai also suspended scheduled passenger flights for 8
weeks during April and May.

The Group’s cash position on 30 September 2020 stood at US$ 5.6 billion, compared to US$ 7.0 billion as at 31 March 2020.

Speaking g on the development. His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “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.

“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.”

Speaking further, Sheikh Ahmed added: “We would like to thank our customers for their continued support, and express our appreciation for the combined stakeholder efforts that have made it possible for Dubai to resume aviation and other economic activity so quickly and safely. 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. In the meantime, Emirates and dnata remain responsive in deploying resources to serve our customers and meet demand.

“We have been able to tap on our own strong cash reserves, and through our shareholder and the broader financial community, we continue to ensure we have access to sufficient funding to sustain the business and see us through this challenging period. In the first half of 2020-21,
our shareholder injected US$ 2 billion into Emirates by way of an equity investment and they will support us on our recovery path.”

Meanwhile, during the first six months of 2020-21, Emirates retired 3 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.

As directed by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, Emirates temporarily suspended passenger flights on 25 March and worked closely with governments and embassies to operate repatriation services until
Dubai International airport (DXB) re-opened for transit passengers and later for scheduled passenger flights. The airline also partnered with the health authorities to implement comprehensive pandemic health and safety measures onboard and on the ground, to safeguard its customers, employees and the communities it serves.

The airline said it also took its customer commitment to the next level, by expediting refunds, offering rebooking flexibility, setting up a COVID-19 travel information hub on its website to offer the latest updates on ever-changing travel requirements, and by launching the industry’s first COVID-19 medical cover for all passengers at no additional cost.

Emirates gradually restarted scheduled passenger operations on 21 May. By 30 September, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 104 cities.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year declined by 67%  to 9.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) due to a substantially reduced flight programme over the past months, including the suspension
of passenger flights at Dubai international airport for 8 weeks.

Emirates carried 1.5 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2020, down 95% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 0.8 million tonnes has decreased by 35% while yield has more
than doubled by 106%. This reflects the extraordinary market situation for air freight during the global COVID-19 crisis, where drastically reduced passenger flights led to limited available capacity while airfreight demand rose strongly.

Emirates was able to uplift 65% of its cargo volumes compared to the same period last year, which shows its cargo division’s outstanding
agility in adapting its operations to provide air freight services in this new environment. In a very short time,

Emirates Skycargo completed the partial retrofit of 10 Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft to transport freight on the main deck, introduced new operation protocols to enable the safe uplift of cargo in passenger cabins, rapidly restarted and scaled up its global cargo network, and put in place
comprehensive bio-safety protocols for employees.

In the first half of the 2020-21 financial year, Emirates loss was US$ 3.4 billion, compared to last year’s profit of US$ 235 million.

Emirates revenue, including other
operating income, of US$ 3.2 billion was down 75% compared with the US$ 12.9 billion recorded during the same period last year.

This result was due to severe flight and travel restrictions around the world relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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