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DUBAI: Dubai-based Emirates airline on Thursday posted its first loss in additional than three many years, saying it had been badly hit by the coronavirus lockdown that introduced air transport to “a literal standstill”.
The Center East’s largest provider stated it suffered a $3.Four billion loss within the six months to September, forcing it to slash its workforce.
“On this unprecedented state of affairs for the aviation and journey business, the Emirates Group recorded a half-year loss for the primary time in over 30 years,” the airline’s chairman and chief government, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum stated in a press release.
“Nobody can predict the long run, however we count on a steep restoration in journey demand as soon as a Covid-19 vaccine is offered, and we’re readying ourselves to serve that rebound.”
The airline, which needed to briefly droop operations earlier this yr earlier than constructing again its huge community, noticed income fall 75 p.c to $3.2 billion.
Over the half-year to September, it carried simply 1.5 million passengers, down 95 p.c from the identical interval final yr.
The provider stated that its backside line discovered some assist with a “sturdy cargo enterprise” because it repurposed its fleet to accommodate the necessity for provides across the globe, together with medical tools.
“As passenger site visitors disappeared, Emirates and (air companies arm) dnata have been in a position to quickly pivot to serve cargo demand and different pockets of alternative,” Sheikh Ahmed stated.
“This has helped us get well our revenues from zero to 26 p.c of our place similar time final yr.”
The airline has introduced a number of rounds of layoffs, with out disclosing numbers.
In Thursday’s assertion, it stated that the Emirates Group’s worker base — which incorporates ground-handling agency Dnata — “is considerably diminished by 24 p.c to an total depend of 81,334 as at 30 September 2020.
“That is in keeping with the corporate’s anticipated capability and enterprise actions within the foreseeable future and normal business outlook,” it stated.
Earlier than the virus hit, Emirates airline alone employed some 60,000 workers, together with 4,300 pilots and practically 22,000 cabin crew, in line with its annual report.
Tourism has lengthy been an financial mainstay of Dubai, which welcomed greater than 16 million guests final yr. Earlier than the pandemic, the goal was to achieve 20 million this yr.
Beforehand, Emirates served a worldwide community spanning over 158 locations in 84 nations. At the moment, it flies to 99 locations.

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