Published: 2020-11-12 11:37
Last Updated: 2024-03-01 15:38
According to its semi-annual results released Thursday, Emirates Airlines recorded losses of $ 3.4 in the first losses for the largest air transport group in the Middle East in three decades.
"We have started our current fiscal year in light of a global shutdown that has completely paralyzed air travel," said Emirates Airlines Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum in a statement.
"Due to these unprecedented conditions affecting the aviation and travel sector, the Emirates Group recorded half-year losses for the first time in more than 30 years," he said.
The company, which was forced to suspend its flights for weeks with the beginning of the spread of the virus, stated that losses in the first six months of its current fiscal year amounted to 3.4 billion dollars, compared to profits of more than 200 million dollars in the same period last year.
Its total revenue fell by about 75 percent to $3.2 billion between April 1 and September 30, after it carried only 1.5 million passengers, a decrease of about 95 percent from the number of passengers in the same period in 2019.
With travel halted, Emirates Airlines was able to switch to serving merchandise demand.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said, "This helped us restore our revenues from zero to 26 percent of what it was in the same period last year."
Before the outbreak of the virus, the largest airline in the Middle East carried millions of passengers annually to and from Dubai, where tourism has been a lifeline for more than two decades, and it received more than 16.7 million visitors last year.
The company is currently operating flights to 99 destinations, compared to about 150 before the closure measures.
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Last August, Emirates Airlines Chief Operating Officer Adel Al-Reda said in a press interview, "We can easily say that by the summer of 2021, we will serve 100 percent of our network’s destinations."
The suspension of flights and the decline in passenger numbers prompted the company to lay off about 9,000 of its employees, according to Chairman Tim Clark.
According to the company’s statement, the number of employees in the Emirates Group, which includes the air transport company and Dnata Tourism and Goods Transport Company, decreased by 24 percent from March 2020, to reach 81,334 employees on September 30, 2020.
Emirates Airlines is the largest operator of the huge Airbus 380 aircraft. The group has previously announced plans to start diversifying its fleet and purchase smaller aircrafts.
The company is considered one of the most prominent successes of Dubai, which includes many entertainment destinations and huge commercial centers and depends on tourism and the service sector in light of the economy that is the most diversified in the oil-rich Gulf region. It received more than 16 million visitors last year. It was seeking to receive one million visitors this year.
The government of the Emirates provided financial support to the company, after the suspension of flights, which amounted to about two billion dollars.
In July, Dubai began to receive tourists and visitors after it was closed since mid-March to tourism to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Sheikh Ahmed said, "No one can predict the future, but we expect a strong return of demand for travel as soon as the Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, and we are ready for that."