Emirates Group has reported a revenue increase of 81 per cent to AED24.7 billion ($6.7 billion) for the first half of its 2021-22 financial year, and a net loss of AED5.7 billion ($1.6 billion) compared to a loss of AED14.1 billion ($3.8 billion) during the same period last year.
The strong revenue recovery was underpinned by the easing of travel restrictions worldwide and the corresponding increase in demand for air transport as countries progressed their Covid-19 vaccination programmes, it said.
It also reported an EBITDA of AED5.6 billion, a dramatic turnaround from a negative AED43 million EBITDA during the same period last year, illustrating its strong return to operating profitability.
The Group continued to maintain a healthy cash position which stood at AED18.8 billion on September 30, 2021 compared to AED19.8 billion as on March 31, 2021.
Emirates Airline and Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “As we began our 2021-22 financial year, Covid-19 vaccination programmes were being rolled out at unprecedented scale around the world. Across the Group, we saw operations and demand pick up as countries started to ease travel restrictions. This momentum accelerated over the summer and continues to grow steadily into the winter season.
“Our cargo transport and handling businesses continued to perform strongly, providing the bedrock upon which we were able to quickly reinstate passenger services. While there’s still some way to go before we restore our operations to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the recovery path with healthy revenue and a solid cash balance.”
The Emirates Group has been able to tap on its own cash reserves, and access funding through its owner and the broader financial community to support its business needs through the unprecedented challenges wrought on the aviation and travel industry by Covid-19. In the first half of 2021-22, its owner injected AED2.5 billion into Emirates by way of an equity investment and they continue to support the airline on its recovery path.
The employee base, compared to March 31, dropped marginally by 2 per cent to an overall count of 73,571 by September 30. In line with the expected ramp up in capacity and business activities in the coming months, Emirates and dnata have embarked on targeted recruitment drives to support its requirements, prioritizing the rehiring of employees previously on furlough or made redundant.
During the first six months of 2021-22, Emirates took delivery of two new A380s and retired two older aircraft from its fleet as part of its strategy to improve efficiency, minimize emissions footprint, and provide high quality customer experiences.
With a clear focus on restoring passenger network and connections through its Dubai hub, Emirates responded with agility whenever travel restrictions lifted to restart services or layer on additional flights. In July, it launched services to Miami, a new destination, and during the first half of 2021-22, Emirates also activated codeshare and interline partnerships with Airlink, Aeromar, Azul, Cemair and South African Airways to expand connectivity options for customers.
By September 30, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 139 airports, utilizing its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 37 A380s.
In June, Emirates became the first airline to sign up for the worldwide implementation of the IATA Travel Pass, in addition to its ongoing investments in additional biometric and other digital verification technologies at Dubai Airport.
Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased by 66 per cent to 16.3 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) due to a substantially expanded flight programme as more countries eased travel and flight restrictions.
Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), more than tripled by 250 per cent, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up by 335 per cent with average Passenger Seat Factor recovering to 47.9 per cent, compared with last year’s pandemic figure of 38.6 per cent.
Emirates carried 6.1 million passengers between April 1 and September 30, up 319 per cent from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.1 million tonnes has increased by 39 per cent, which brings the business back to 90 per cent of pre-pandemic (2019) levels by volume handled.
In the first half of the 2021-22 financial year, Emirates loss was AED5.8 billion, compared to last year’s loss of AED 12.6 billion. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED21.7 billion was up 86 per cent compared with the AED11.7 billion recorded during the same period last year.
Operating costs increased by 22 per cent against an overall capacity growth of 66 per cent. Fuel costs more than doubled compared to the same period last year. This was primarily due to an 81 per cent higher fuel uplift in line with substantially increased flight operations during the six-month period up to end of September, and also an increase in average oil prices.
Fuel, which was the largest component of the airline’s operating cost in pre-pandemic reporting cycles, accounted for 20 per cent of operating costs compared to only 11 per cent in the first six months of last year.
Driven by the significant increase in operations during the six months, Emirates’ EBITDA recovered to AED 5.0 billion compared to AED 290 million for the same period last year.
dnata’s businesses in cargo and ground handling, catering and retail, and travel services saw demand return quickly wherever pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions were eased. Demonstrating the agility and capability of its skilled teams, dnata was able to respond quickly to customer needs with high quality services – from supporting its airline customers in reinstating flight operations safely and smoothly, to helping customers book travel plans.
In the first six months of 2021-22, dnata opened a 5,000 sq.m. workshop dedicated to providing advanced maintenance for airside passenger buses at Dubai airport.
dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, was AED3.7 billion, a 55 per cent increase compared to AED 2.4 billion last year. Overall profit for dnata is AED85 million, compared to last year’s loss of AED1.5 billion.
dnata’s airport operations remains the largest contributor to revenue with AED2.5 billion, a 52 per cent increase as compared to the same period last year. Across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata increased sharply by 116 per cent to 222,668, and it handled 1.4 million tonnes of cargo, up 9 per cent.
dnata’s flight catering and retail operation, contributed AED766 million to its revenue, up 80 per cent. The number of meals uplifted doubled to 16.6 million meals for the first half of the financial year after last year’s 8.3 million.
dnata’s travel division contributed AED147 million to revenue after AED95 million for the same period last year, up 55 per cent.
The division reported an underlying total transactional value (TTV) sales of AED726 million), after an exceptional negative TTV of AED246 million for the same period last year which was caused by the significant volumes of refunds and pay-out in cancelled customer bookings at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.