Emirates Group expects return to profitability this year

Dnata returned to profitability last year as owner Emirates Group trimmed losses from $6 billion to $1 billion despite the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Dubai-based group expects to return to the black in the current financial year.

Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division “significantly” grew by 434% to $189 million year-on-year in 2021-22 as total transaction value rose by 912% to $632 million.

“These increases reflect last year’s abnormal situation where the business saw high levels of Covid-19-related booking cancellations,” the airline and travel group reported.

In the UK, dnata’s Travel Republic brand introduced a ‘secure trust account’ for package holiday customers to guarantee prompt refunds for those forced to cancel flight-inclusive package holidays, with funds kept secure in a separate account.

Dnata also launched its Gold Medal brand in Saudi Arabia this year, offering its portfolio of travel products to independent travel agents.

Emirates airline saw losses cut to $1.1 billion in the 12 months to March 31 compared with $5.5 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The carrier’s revenue was up 91% to $16.1 billion as global capacity was expanded and more passenger flights were reinstated.

Emirates carried 19.6 million passengers in 2021-22, with seat capacity up by 150%.

The group received a further capital injection of $954 million from the Dubai government, and the group also tapped various industry support programmes.

Staff previously on furlough or made redundant were recalled and rehired as Emirates and dnata ramped up operations. New recruitment drives were held to replenish the group’s talent pool and boost its future capabilities.

The total workforce increased by 13% to 85,219 employees as a result, representing more than 160 different nationalities.

Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “For the Emirates Group, 2021-22 was largely about recovery, after the toughest year in our group’s history. It’s not just about restoring our capacity, but also augmenting our future capabilities as we rebuild.

“Our aim is to build back better and stronger, so that we can deliver even better experiences to our customers and offer more support to the communities we serve.

“We expect the group to return to profitability in 2022-23, and are working hard to hit our targets, while keeping a close watch on headwinds such as high fuel prices, inflation, new Covid-19 variants, and political and economic uncertainty.”

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