Emirates sees profitability in two years, flies now to more than 100 destinations

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on November 16, 2020

Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, confident that carrier will be back to as good as it was in pre-Covid-19 days.

Dubai-based Emirates airline now flies to more than 100 destinations and expects to post profit in the next two years after it reported first loss in more than 30 years due to Covid-19.

While speaking to CNBC, Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, projected that the carrier will return to profitability within the next 18 months or two years.

Emirates Group reported a 2020-21 half-year net loss of Dh14.1 billion while Emirates airline posted Dh12.6 billion loss. The group’s revenues plummeted 74 per cent to Dh13.7 billion while Emirates airline announced 75 per cent plunge in revenues to Dh11.7 billion.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, had said in the first-half report that no one can predict the recovery of the sector, but he expects a steep recovery in travel demand once a Covid-19 vaccine is available, and the airline is readying itself to serve that rebound.

Despite tough times, the airline enjoys strong cash position, holding Dh20.7 billion in cash as on September 30, 2020 as compared to Dh25.6 billion on March 31, 2020.

“Cash is king. As long as we can keep our position in good shape, we believe that we will be ready to re-enter the markets, as well and as large as we always did,” Clark said.

Dubai government injected $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) into Emirates after coronavirus forced the carrier and other airlines around the globe to ground their fleet due to suspension of flights and lockdowns to contain the pandemic.

Clark believes that the airline will be as good as it was in the pre-Covid-19 days. He welcomed London’s initiative to exempt the quarantine requirement for people flying from the UAE to the United Kingdom.

“The government has been working for five months to persuade the United Kingdom government that we should be put on their list,” Clark said, adding that this initiative will give a major boost to tourism between the two nations.

“We are already experiencing quite an increase in the booking velocity in our systems in regards to people coming out to Dubai from the UK post the second of December after lockdown finishes,” he added.

Clark sees more corridors will open up as pandemic is brought under control. The carrier now flies to 104 destinations and 151 of its Boeing 777 were operating.


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