Emirates Half-Year Loss Narrows as Global Travel Picks Up
Emirates Group, owner of the world’s largest long-haul airline prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, reported a narrower half-year loss as travel restrictions eased and passenger numbers rose.
“We saw operations and demand pick up as countries started to ease travel restrictions,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement. “This momentum accelerated over the summer and continues to grow steadily into the winter season and beyond.”
The airline reported a net loss of 5.7 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion), less than half the 14.1 billion-dirham loss a year earlier. Revenue for the six months through September rose 81% to 24.7 billion dirhams.
International travel is starting to pick up again, with U.S. opening up flights from Europe, along with countries including India, Brazil and China. Emirates generated positive weekly cash flow for the first time since the pandemic started, President Tim Clark told Airline Ratings in an interview published Nov. 7. He is aiming to fully restore its route network by June or July 2022.
Emirates is being helped by higher yields on both passenger and cargo businesses, Clark said. He said added passenger flights are providing more space to fill with belly freight.
The state-owned company received a capital injection of $681 million in the first half from its owner, the government of Dubai. It had received $3.1 billion in the financial year that ended in March.
“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 with healthy revenue and a solid cash balance at the end of our first half of 2021-22,” Sheikh Ahmed said.
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