Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) based airline and largest international carrier by its capacity, Emirates Airlines, was forced to ground its passenger flights due to the outbreak of COVID-19 from March 25, 2020. While the airline’s 11 Boeing 777F cargo aircraft are busy carrying supplies around the world, Emirates’ revenue sources dried up as it grounded its passenger fleet.
In a move to protect the carrier from the worst-case scenario, the Crown Prince of Dubai Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum announced that the Government of Dubai is “committed to providing full support” to the airline to overcome current operational circumstances. While the measures are still uncertain, as they will be announced at a later date, Al Maktoum indicated that Emirates would definitely receive an equity injection.
“Emirates positioned Dubai as a global travel hub and has great strategic value as one of the main pillars of Dubai’s economy, as well as the wider economy of the UAE,” stated the monarch.
In September 2019, the carrier’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum highlighted that the airline and travel industry is set to continue facing headwinds in the following six months, nobody expected the headwinds to be so strong. At the time, the airline had $6.3 billion (AED23 billion) of cash as of September 30, 2019, but its position has seemingly deteriorated since.
The Dubai International Airport (DXB)-based airline group, which has the largest Airbus A380 fleet in the world, completely stopped passenger operations on March 25, 2020. Emirates Airlines was unable to provide any guidance on when the airline would fly passengers once more, as it stated that it would “resume passenger services as soon as it is possible to do so.”