State-owned airline Emirates has revealed the extent of the support it received from Dubai as the pandemic drove the company to its first loss in over three decades.
The Dubai government has pumped $3.1bn (£2.2bn) into the airline since the start of the pandemic, including a $2bn equity injection last year.
It came as Emirates’ annual report revealed the airline made a 20.3bn dirham ($5.5bn) loss for the year, while the Emirates Group holding company swung to a loss of 22.1bn dirhams.
This was the company’s first annual loss in 33 years.
The airline, which was one of the world’s largest prior to the pandemic, has been hit by a shutdown in international travel that has ravaged carriers across the globe.
Revenue fell by more than two-thirds to 30.9bn dirhams as passenger traffic plummeted 88 per cent to just 6.5m.
“No one knows when the pandemic will be over, but we know recovery will be patchy,” chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement.
Last month Emirates said it expected to operate at around 70 per cent of its normal capacity by winter as the easing of Covid restrictions sparks an international travel boom.
It is currently operating to around 120 destinations, though capacity remains limited due to the continued grounding of most of the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet.