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Business & Finance

Emirates airline posts $5.5b annual loss, its first in over 30 years

  • Forced to temporarily suspend operations last year, airline saw revenue fall 66 percent to $8.4 billion.
Updated 15 Jun 2021

DUBAI: Dubai-based Emirates airline on Tuesday posted a $5.5 billion annual loss, its first in more than three decades, after the coronavirus pandemic devastated the aviation industry.

"Due to ongoing pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions, the airline reported a loss of 20.3 billion dirhams ($5.5 billion) after last year's 1.1 billion dirhams ($288 million) profit," the Middle East's largest carrier said in a statement.

The airline, which was forced to temporarily suspend operations last year, saw revenue fall 66 percent to $8.4 billion.

Over the fiscal year, which ends in March, Emirates carried 6.6 million passengers, down 88 percent from the same period in the previous year.

"The Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a tremendous toll on human lives, communities, economies, and on the aviation and travel industry," the airline's chairman and chief executive, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said in a statement.

He added that the Emirates group was "hit hard by the drop in demand for international air travel as countries closed their borders and imposed stringent travel restrictions".

Dubai committed to support airline

Meanwhile, Emirates said Dubai was committed to supporting it through the coronavirus crisis after the airline's holding company's first annual loss.

The Dubai government has injected $3.1 billion into Emirates since the onset of the pandemic, the airline group said in its annual report. It disclosed a $2 billion equity injection last year, added Reuters.

"No one knows when the pandemic will be over, but we know recovery will be patchy," Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement.