Pandemic drags Emirates to $5.5 bln loss, its first in 33 years
Emirates said Dubai's government would continue to support the airline through the coronavirus pandemic after posting an annual loss of $5.5 billion, its first in more than three decades, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.
The airline's chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said on Tuesday that the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis would be patchy and that no one could predict when it would end.
Dubai's government had injected an extra $1.1 billion into the airline since disclosing a $2 billion lifeline last year, Emirates said in its annual report for the year to March 31.
State-owned Emirates is not the only national carrier to get government help during the coronavirus crisis, which has brought air travel to a standstill.
On Monday, Germany's Lufthansa, which was forced to take 9 billion euros ($11 billion) in aid in 2020, laid out plans to return to profit as a leaner, more thinly-staffed airline with fewer planes after the pandemic. read more
Emirates, whose entire operation is dependent on international travel, fell to a loss of $5.5 billion, down from a $288 million profit a year ago, as revenue plunged 66% to $8.4 billion and passenger traffic fell 88.3% to 6.6 million.
It is 36-year-old Emirates' first annual loss since 1987-88 and its lowest number of passengers carried in twenty years.
Emirates has no domestic market to cushion against border restrictions and closures that have frustrated airlines over the past year as they try to navigate a recovery.