Emirates Anounced its First Half-Yearly Losses Under the Effect of Covid-19

Emirates, the aeronautical flagship of Dubai, announced Thursday its first half-yearly losses in three decades, under the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic which has virtually paralyzed air transport.

In six months, the company lost 3.4 billion dollars (about 2.9 billion euros), indicates a statement detailing its results.

“Due to this unprecedented situation for the aviation and travel industry, the Emirates group recorded a half-yearly loss for the first time in more than 30 years,” the president of the airline said in the statement. , Sheikh Ahmed ben Saïd Al-Maktoum.

By comparison, Emirates had recorded profits of $ 235 million (around € 200 billion) during the same period in 2019, the statement said.

Founded in 1985, the company had not lost money since 1987/88, according to an Emirates spokesperson.

Revenue for the first half of this year was $ 3.2 billion (€ 2.7 billion), down 75% from the same period of 2019.

In that six-month period ending in September, Emirates only carried 1.5 million passengers, a drop of 95% from the same period last year.

The carrier said its results were supported by “strong freight activity”. He said he redeployed his fleet to meet supply needs around the world, including medical equipment.

“With passenger traffic gone, Emirates and Dnata (its air services arm) have redeployed their resources to meet demand for freight and other opportunities,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

“This allowed us to reduce our income from zero to 26% of what it was at the same time last year,” he said.

The largest company in the Middle East, which operates a fleet of 270 wide-bodied jets, ceased operations at the end of March due to the Covid-19.

– Job cuts –
It resumed two weeks later a reduced activity, including providing repatriation flights, before gradually increasing its connections after the relaxation of travel restrictions by Dubai to revive its tourism sector.

“No one can predict the future, but we expect demand to pick up sharply once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, and we are preparing for such a rebound,” Sheikh Ahmed said in the released statement. Thursday.

Since the start of the health crisis, the company has announced several rounds of job cuts without disclosing any figures.

In her statement on Thursday, she said the number of employees in the Emirates Group, which includes Dnata and other air transport-related activities, had been reduced by 24% to 81,334 as of September 30, 2020.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the airline alone employed some 60,000 people, including 4,300 pilots and nearly 22,000 cabin crew, according to its latest annual report.

Tourism is one of the economic pillars of Dubai, which welcomed more than 16 million visitors last year. Before the pandemic, the goal was to reach 20 million visitors by 2020.

Previously, Emirates served a global network covering more than 158 destinations in 84 countries. Currently, the company serves 99 destinations.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) warned in April that air traffic is expected to drop by half in the Middle East and North Africa due to the pandemic.

Other companies in the region have also suffered, and Emirates and Qatar Airways have said they have each received some $ 2 billion (1.7 billion euros) in public subsidies.

In September, Qatar Airways announced huge annual losses due to the pandemic, a boycott by Gulf neighbors and the liquidation of Air Italy, of which it owned 49%.

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