DUBAI: Dubai-based Emirates airline reported a $5.5 billion yearly loss on Tuesday, its first in more than three decades, following the aviation industry’s devastation caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Due to ongoing pandemic-related flight and travel limitations, the airline incurred a loss of 20.3 billion dirhams ($5.5 billion),” the Middle East’s largest carrier said in a statement.
Revenue fell 66 percent to $8.4 billion for the airline, which was forced to briefly cease operations last year.
Emirates carried 6.6 million passengers during the fiscal year, which ends in March, a decrease of 88 percent from the same period the previous year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to exact a great toll on human lives, communities, economies, and the aviation and travel sector,” stated Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of the airline.
He went on to say that the Emirates group had been “seriously affected” by a reduction in demand for international aviation travel as governments closed their borders and imposed rigorous travel restrictions.
Dubai has pledged to assist the airline.
Meanwhile, following the airline’s parent company’s first annual loss, Emirates stated Dubai was dedicated to assisting it through the coronavirus crisis.
The Dubai government has invested $3.1 billion in Emirates since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the airline group’s annual report. According to Reuters, it revealed a $2 billion stock investment last year.
“No one knows when the pandemic will be finished,” Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum stated in a statement.