Dubai-based Emirates Group has posted a profit of AED 1.7 billion (USD 456 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 31, down 28% from last year. The fall was attributed to a slowdown in operations during a runway closure at Dubai International during the first quarter, and the more recent impact of flight and travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revenue at the group reached AED 104 billion (USD 27.94 billion), a decline of 5% on last year.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chief executive of Emirates Group, said: “For the first 11 months of 2019-20, Emirates and dnata were performing strongly, and we were on track to deliver against our business targets. However, from mid-February things changed rapidly as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the world, causing a sudden and tremendous drop in demand for international air travel as countries closed their borders and imposed stringent travel restrictions.”
“We expect it will take 18 months at least, before travel demand returns to a semblance of normality. In the meantime, we are actively engaging with regulators and relevant stakeholders, as they work to define standards to ensure the health and safety of travellers and operators in a post-pandemic world,” he added.