Emirates Reports Further Capital Injection From Dubai Government

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Credit: Emirates Airlines

Emirates received a further AED3.5 billion ($954 million) capital injection by the government of Dubai during its fiscal 2021/22, the airline revealed May 13.

The capital increase comes on top of a $3.1 billion capital increase made by its owner the previous year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest injection came alongside AED 800 million in other industry support measures. Emirates says it has never received government support until 2020, when the outbreak of the pandemic forced global air travel into collapse. In the absence of a domestic market and with its business model focused on long-haul to long-haul connections, Emirates was particularly strongly affected by border closures and travel restrictions.

While Emirates’ fiscal 2020/21 mirrored the depth of the crisis, fiscal 2021/22 (ended March 31, 2022) marked a strong rebound in passenger numbers and revenues but not yet a return to profits, which the group aims to reach in the current financial year. Emirates Airline revenues surged 91% year-over-year to AED59.18 billion. Emirates SkyCargo contributed 40% to total revenues. The carrier posted a $120 million operating loss, a massive narrowing of the $4.1 billion loss it made a year earlier. The loss attributable to the owner was $1.1 billion, down from $5.5 billion in fiscal 2020/21.

The number of passengers carried increased by 198% and reached 19.5 million. The load factor improved from 44% to 58%. Seat capacity was up 150% and yields declined by 10%.

The group’s ground handling unit dnata returned to a small $43.5 million operating profit.

Importantly, Emirates said its orderbook of 197 aircraft “remains unchanged at this time.” However, the airline’s President Tim Clark has indicated several times in recent weeks that the carrier may walk away from an order for 30 Boeing 787-9s placed in 2019 because of the ongoing delivery delays. The airline also has a combination of 116 777-8s and -9s on firm order that are now delayed by several years. Emirates is understood to stick to the 777X order, though compensation for delays and terms for delivery of aircraft after long-term storage are to be negotiated.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.