Emirates records losses for first time in three decades

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The Emirates Group yesterday (15) announced its first year of loss in over 30 years, caused by a significant drop in revenue attributed to the impact of Covid-related flight and travel restrictions throughout its entire 2020-21 financial year.

In its 2020-21 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a loss of AED 22.1 billion ($ 6.0 billion) for the financial year ended 31 March 2021, compared with an AED 1.7 billion ($ 456 million) profit for last year. The Group’s revenue was AED 35.6 billion ($ 9.7 billion), a decline of 66% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 19.8 billion (US$ 5.4 billion), down 23% from last year.

Emirates Airline and Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Emirates Airline and Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum 

Emirates Airline and Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a tremendous toll on human lives, communities, economies, and on the aviation and travel industry. In 2020-21, Emirates and dnata were hit hard by the drop in demand for international air travel, as countries closed their borders and imposed stringent travel restrictions.

“Our top priorities throughout the year were the health and wellbeing of our people and customers, preserving cash and controlling costs, and restoring our operations safely and sustainably. Emirates received a capital injection of AED 11.3 billion ($ 3.1 billion) from our ultimate shareholder, the Government of Dubai, and dnata tapped on various industry support programmes and availed a total relief of nearly AED 800 million in 2020-21. These helped us sustain operations and retain the vast majority of our talent pool. Unfortunately, we still had to make the difficult decision to resize our workforce in line with reduced operational requirements.”

For the first time in the Group’s history, redundancies were implemented across all parts of the business. As a result, the Group’s total workforce reduced by 31% to 75,145 employees, representing over 160 different nationalities.

Keeping a tight control on costs, across the Group, financial obligations were restructured, contracts renegotiated, processes examined and operations consolidated. The various cost reduction initiatives returned an estimated saving of AED 7.7 billion during the year.

In 2020-21, the Group collectively invested AED 4.7 billion ($ 1.3 billion) in new aircraft and facilities, the acquisition of companies, and the latest technologies to position the business for recovery and future growth. It also continued to invest resources towards environmental initiatives, as well as supporting communities and incubator programmes that nurture talent and innovation to drive future industry growth.

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