This is a huge number. “The airline reported a loss of 20.3 billion dirhams (over 4.5 billion euros) after a profit of 1.1 billion dirhams (approximately 247 million euros) last year due to aircraft and travel restrictions linked to the epidemic,” Emirates said in a statement. The airline, which was forced to suspend operations in the spring of 2020, saw its revenue fall 66% to 6. 6.9 billion.
For the fiscal year ending March, Emirates carried 6.6 million passengers, down 88% from the previous year (March 2019 to March 2020). Sheikh Ahmed bin Syed Al-Maktoum, its chairman and chief executive, quoted the group as saying that “the group has been hit hard by falling demand for international flights because countries have closed their borders and imposed strict restrictions on passengers.” “No one knows when the epidemic will end, but we know the recovery will be random,” he said.
In this context, layoffs have hit all sectors of the group “for the first time” in its history, with workers down 31% to 75,145 employees. The Emirates team includes Emirates Airlines and Danata. Emirates Airlines alone reduced its staff by 32% from 60,033 to 40,801, including pilots, staff and flight attendants from around the world.
The company last reported a loss in fiscal 1987-88, when it became operational. Since then, Emirates has become the largest airline in the Middle East, connected to Dubai Airport, which handles a large number of foreign passengers in transit. “It would be better for economies and companies that have entered a strong phase of the epidemic to move forward again,” the CEO said, noting the group’s good health ahead of the health crisis. Emirates has received about 2.5 billion euros from the government in Dubai, and the group said Dinata has appealed for various support programs.
Return to Tourism
In July 2020, Dubai reopened its doors to international tourism, attracting many visitors from around the world who wanted to escape more or less severe prisons. Emirates currently flies to 157 destinations, including its pre-epidemic network of 158 locations in 85 countries. Tourism is the economic pillar of Dubai, which is poor in emirate oil but has the most diversified economy in the Gulf region. It welcomed more than 16 million viewers in 2019. Prior to the outbreak, the goal was to reach 20 million by 2020.
Life in Dubai has largely returned to normal, with restaurants, hotels and beaches all open to the public. The United Arab Emirates, one of Dubai’s seven presidents, has launched one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed keen interest from Gulf airlines for its anti-Govt health pass, which will be added to the service in the coming weeks in the Middle East. Both Emirates and Etihad, the emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi airline, have said passenger demand should not return to pre-crisis levels until 2023.
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