Emirates airline may need more cash in 6 months

Emirates chief executive Tim Clark said on Wednesday (April 21) that the airline may need to raise more cash this year, if demand for air travel does not pick up soon.

The state carrier had hoped the global vaccine rollout would renew confidence in air travel, but demand remains at very low levels.

"Now as far as Emirates is concerned, we're good for another 6, 7 or 8 months in terms of cash. We have sufficient cash coming in to be able to keep the day to day operations at a neutral basis. But, you know, like everybody else, if in 6 months global demand is where it is today, then we're all going to face difficulties, not just Emirates."

Emirates lost $3.4 billion in the first half of 2020- and got $2 billion in equity last year from the Dubai government.

However Clark is hopeful that the cash situation could be turned around by September-October as long as the demand is there.

''To be quite honest I am hoping the demand will return during the course of the summer and that these virus variants will be dealt with and that the vaccination program will continue at pace particularly in the markets, not just in Europe or the West but also in the developing world which is so important to us."

Clark said he also expects that there would be interest in business class travel after the health crisis- even if corporate travel does diminish as executives opt to hold meetings online instead of travelling.

He said demand would likely be supported by cheaper fares to fill business class seats if corporate travel doesn't rebound.