The Emirates Group has announced its first annual loss in over 30 years.
The carrier said the losses had been caused by a significant drop in revenue, fully attributed to the impact of Covid-19 and resulting travel restrictions.
The Emirates Group posted a loss of AED22 billion (US$6 billion) for the financial year ended March 31st, compared with an AED1.7 billion (US$456 million) profit for last year.
Revenue was AED35.6 billion (US$9.7 billion), a decline of 66 per cent on the previous year.
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, 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.”
For the first time in the history of the Dubai-based group, redundancies were implemented across all parts of the business.
The total workforce was reduced by 31 per cent, to 75,145 employees.
In 2020-21, the group, however, collectively invested AED4.7 billion (US$1.3 billion) in new aircraft and facilities and the acquisition of companies.
Al Maktoum said: “No one knows when the pandemic will be over, but we know recovery will be patchy.
“Economies and companies that entered pandemic times in a strong position, will be better placed to bounce back.”
Emirates received three new A380 aircraft during the financial year and phased out 14 older aircraft comprising of nine Boeing 777-300ERs and five A380s, leaving its total fleet count at 259 at the end of March.
From zero scheduled passenger flights at the start of the financial year, the carrier is currently flying to over 120 destinations.