Pandemic drags Emirates to first loss in 33 years

Its first annual loss in over three decades, totalling $5.5 billion.

The cost of the global health crisis to Emirates was apparent in its results on Tuesday (June 15).

Dubai's government pledged to continue supporting the airline.

But Emirates said the recovery would be patchy, and that no one could predict when the crisis would end.

Dubai's government had injected an extra $1.1 billion into the airline since disclosing a $2 billion lifeline last year.

With no domestic market to cushion against border restrictions and closures, Emirates' entire operation is dependent on international travel.

Revenue plunged 66% to $8.4 billion for the year.

And passenger traffic fell over 88% to 6.6 million.

It is expected to take years for airlines to recover from the crisis.

With long international flights expected to take the longest to rebound.

Emirates' group workforce shrank over 30% for the year.

But the state-owned firm is far from the only national carrier to get government help.

Germany's Lufthansa was forced to take $11 billion in aid in 2020.

On Monday (June 14) it laid out plans to return to profit as a leaner, more thinly-staffed airline with fewer planes.

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