The Emirates Group was forced for the first time since its inception to lay off a number of employees, and the total workforce decreased by 31%.
The Dubai-based company said in a statement today, Tuesday, that, as a result of the continued restrictions on flights and travel due to the pandemic, it recorded losses of 20.3 billion dirhams ($ 5.5 billion), compared to profits of the previous year, which amounted to 1.1 billion dirhams ($ 288 million).
The last time this giant company reported a loss was the 1987-1988 fiscal year, with the start of its operations.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, Emirates Airlines was forced to reduce its extensive network of destinations, and suspended its flights for weeks during the past year, before returning to increasing its operations with Dubai opening its doors to tourists in mid-2021, and turning the wealthy emirate into a major point of attraction for visitors fleeing the closures.
“The “Covid-19″ pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on human lives, societies, economies, the aviation and travel industry,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Emirates Group.
Sheikh Al Maktoum added that his group suffered from a drop in demand for international travel, after countries closed their borders and imposed strict travel restrictions.
Emirates Airlines carried 6.6 million passengers, a decrease of 88% from the previous fiscal year, and its total revenue for the fiscal year decreased by 66%, to 30.9 billion dirhams ($ 8.4 billion).
For the first time since its inception, the group was forced to lay off a number of employees, and the total workforce decreased, by 31%, to 75,145 employees representing more than 160 different nationalities.
Emirates is the largest operator of the large Airbus 380, and it had previously announced plans to start diversifying its fleet and buying smaller planes.