Emirates Airline halved its net loss in the first six months of its 2021-2022 financial year, but said there was some way to go before it can return to profitability. 

The world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 superjumbo said on November 10, 2021 that easing travel restrictions boosted demand and increased revenues during the period. However, its owner had to provide further funding to see it through the crisis. 

This momentum accelerated over the summer and continues to grow steadily into the winter season and beyond,” chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum stated in a press release. “While there’s still some way to go before we restore our operations to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the recovery path with healthy revenue and a solid cash balance at the end of our first half of 2021-22.”

For the six months to September 30, 2021, the Dubai-based airline posted a loss of AED 5.8 billion (US$ 1.6 billion), compared to a loss of AED 12.6 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) one year ago. Its revenue rose 86%. 

Emirates uplifted 1.1 million tonnes of cargo, a year-on-year increase of 39%, bringing it to 90% of pre-pandemic levels in terms of volume handled.

During the six months to September 30, 2021, the airline took delivery of two new Airbus A380s and retired two older aircraft. Emirates said it was operating passenger and cargo services to 139 airports by September 30, 2021, using its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 37 of its A380s.

The government provided a further AED 2.5 billion (US$ 681 million) into Emirates via an equity investment. “They continue to support the airline on its recovery path,” the company said in the statement.

The smaller dnata division of the Emirates Group, which provides ground handling and catering services, returned to profit in the six months, reporting a net profit of AED 85 million (US$ 23 million), compared to last year’s loss of AED 1.5 billion (US$ 396 million).

Emirates is continuing to ramp up operations, announcing plans on October 24, 2021 to hire an additional 6,000 staff. The Gulf carrier has also said it expects to have more than 50 A380s in operation by the end of 2021. 

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