Dubai’s Emirates Group cuts annual loss by 83% to $1bn for FY 2021-22
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Dubai’s Emirates Group cuts annual loss by 83% to $1bn for FY 2021-22

Dubai’s Emirates Group cuts annual loss by 83% to $1bn for FY 2021-22

“We expect the group to return to profitability in 2022-23″ – Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, Emirates Group chairman


Dubai’s Emirates Group posted a loss of Dhs3.8bn ($1bn) for the financial year ending March 31, 2022, compared with an Dhs22.1bn ($6bn) loss reported last year.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates Group reports $6bn annual loss, records first non-profitable year in over three decades

The group’s revenue was Dhs66.2bn ($18.1bn), marking an increase of 86 per cent over last year’s results. The group’s cash balance equalled Dhs25.8bn ($7bn), up 30 per cent from last year, owed to strong demand across its core business divisions and markets, a statement said.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “This year, we focussed on restoring our operations quickly and safely wherever pandemic-related restrictions eased across our markets. Business recovery picked up pace particularly in the second half of the year. Robust customer demand drove a huge improvement in our financial performance compared to our unprecedented losses of last year and we built up our strong cash balance.

“Across Emirates and dnata, we responded to dynamic market conditions with agility, and introduced innovative products and services to meet our customers’ needs and provide them with the best possible experience. 2021-22 was also a significant year as the UAE marked its 50th anniversary and hosted the world at Expo 2020 Dubai which generated increased global engagement and visitation to the UAE.”

In 2021-22, Emirates received a further capital injection of $954m from the Government of Dubai, and the group also tapped on various industry support programmes and availed a total relief of nearly Dhs0.8bn in 2021-22.

With Emirates and dnata ramping up operations, employees previously on furlough or made redundant were recalled and rehired, while new recruitment drives were held to replenish the talent pool.

Read: Emirates recruiting 3,000 cabin crew as part of expansion drive at Dubai hub

Resultantly, the group’s total workforce increased by 13 per cent to 85,219 employees, representing over 160 different nationalities. In 2021-22, the group collectively invested Dhs7.9bn ($2.2bn) in new aircraft and facilities and technologies. It also continued to progress its environmental strategy focussed on reducing carbon emissions, consuming resources responsibly, and conserving wildlife and habitats.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “For the Emirates Group, 2021-22 was largely about recovery, after the toughest year in our group’s history. It’s not just about restoring our capacity, but also augmenting our future capabilities as we rebuild. Our aim is to build back better and stronger, so that we can deliver even better experiences to our customers and offer more support to the communities we serve.

“We expect the group to return to profitability in 2022-23, and are working hard to hit our targets, while keeping a close watch on headwinds such as high fuel prices, inflation, new Covid-19 variants, and political and economic uncertainty.”

Read: Dubai’s Emirates will ‘go profitable’ during 2022-23

Emirates performance

The airline reported a loss of Dhs3.9bn ($1.1bn) after last year’s Dhs20.3bn ($5.5bn) loss. Meanwhile, Emirates’ total revenue for the financial year increased 91 per cent to Dhs59.2bn ($16.1bn) while its total operating costs increased by 30 per cent. Fuel accounted for 23 per cent of operating costs compared to 14 per cent in 2020-21. The airline’s fuel bill more than doubled to Dhs13.9bn ($3.8bn) compared to the previous year.

Emirates carried 19.6 million passengers (up by 199 per cent) in 2021-22, with seat capacity up by 150 per cent. The airline reported a passenger seat factor of 58.6 per cent, compared with last year’s 44.3 per cent; and a 10 per cent decline in passenger yield to 35.1 fils per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM).

Meanwhile, from 120 destinations at the start of the financial year, it increased operations and capacity growth across over 140 destinations by March 31 2022. In July, the airline launched a new route to Miami, bringing its total passenger gateways in the US to 12.

Read: Emirates commences inaugural Dubai-Miami passenger service

It also deployed its A380 aircraft to even more cities during the year, bringing its A380 network to 29 destinations as of March 31, 2022. In 2021-22, Emirates reinforced its strategic partnerships with Qantas and flydubai, and expanded its interline and codeshare partnerships across Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. The airline also signed agreements and launched initiatives with tourism partners in various destinations to support travel.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates signs codeshare agreement with airBaltic

Read: Dubai’s Emirates signs codeshare MoU with Garuda Indonesia

Read: Dubai’s Emirates signs MoU with Maldivian to explore partnership opportunities

Emirates received its final five new A380 aircraft during the financial year, all equipped with cabin interiors including premium economy seats. It also phased out two older aircraft comprising of one Boeing 777-300ER and one Freighter, leaving its total fleet count at 262 at the end of March. Emirates’ order book of 197 aircraft currently remains unchanged.

Emirates SkyCargo

Emirates’ cargo division reported revenue of Dhs21.7bn ($5.9bn), an increase of 27 per cent over last year. Emirates SkyCargo contributed to 40 per cent of the airline’s total transport revenue, having restored services to  over 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network by June 30, 2021. During the year, Emirates SkyCargo continued to get Covid-19 vaccines and other medical supplies delivered to communities around the world, and keeping trade lanes open for food supplies, e-commerce and other essential goods. By March 2022, Emirates SkyCargo had transported one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) decreased by 3 per cent as more cargo capacity returned to the global market. Tonnage carried increased by 14 per cent to reach 2.1 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, Emirates’ hotels portfolio doubled revenue over last year to Dhs602m ($164m).

dnata performance

dnata posted a profit of Dhs110m ($30m) for 2021-22. With growing flight and travel activity across the world, dnata’s total revenue increased by 54 per cent to Dhs8.6bn ($2.3bn). dnata’s international business accounts for 62 per cent of its revenue.

During the year, dnata invested significantly in its cargo handling capabilities. It expanded existing facilities in Sydney, Australia and opened a cargo centre at London Heathrow airport.

Read: Dubai’s dnata inaugurates new cargo centre at London Heathrow airport

It also announced a fully automated cargo centre to be built at ‘dnata Cargo City’ at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

Read: UAE’s dnata invests over EUR200m to operate cargo facility at Schiphol airport

In 2021-22, dnata’s operating costs increased by 14 per cent to Dhs8.4bn ($2.3bn), in line with expanded operations in its airport operations, catering and travel divisions across the world, the statement added. dnata’s cash balance improved to Dhs4.9bn ($1.3bn). Net cash used in financing activities, primarily payments for loans and leases, amounted to Dhs745m ($203m), while the business utilised net cash of Dhs246m ($67mn). The business saw an operating cash flow of Dhs1.2bn ($332m) in 2021-22.

Revenue from dnata’s airport operations, including ground and cargo handling increased to Dhs5.7bn ($1.6bn).

The number of aircraft turns handled by dnata globally grew by 82 per cent to 527,501, cargo handled increased by 10 per cent to 3 million tonnes. However, dnata’s catering business accounted for Dhs1.7bn ($455m) of dnata’s revenue, up by 60 per cent. The inflight catering business uplifted 39.9 million meals to airline customers, more than double the number of meals from last year. Revenue from dnata’s travel services division grew to Dhs694m ($189m).

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