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Emirates Bounces Back from Pandemic with Highest-Ever Annual Profit

The Dubai-based airline has made a full recovery from the pandemic, posting annual profits of $3 billion, compared to a $1.1 billion loss in 2021-22

by Fergus Cole

May 12, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Simon Infanger / Unsplash

Dubai-based Emirates Group has reported annual profits of 10.9 billion UAE dirhams ($3 billion) for the 12 months up to April 202—its highest-ever yearly performance as the airline rebounds strongly from the pandemic.

Following losses of AED 3.9 billion ($1.1 billion) in 2021-22, Emirates has made a stunning recovery over the last financial year. Emirates Group’s total revenue of AED 119.8 billion ($32.6 billion) represented an 81% increase compared to the previous year, helped massively by surging demand for air travel as most countries removed their travel restrictions.

The record year put Emirates in a position to end the financial term with its highest-ever cash balance of AED 42.5 billion ($11.6 billion), declaring dividends of AED 4.5 billion ($1.2 billion) to its parent company, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

Photo: Courtesy of Emirates

“We had anticipated the strong return of travel, and as the latest travel restrictions lifted and triggered a tide of demand, we were ready to expand our operations quickly and safely to serve our customers,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates.

“Our ongoing investments in our brand, and in our products and services, helped drive customer preference and position us favorably in the market. As a result, we have delivered a record financial performance and cash balance for our financial year 2022-23. This reflects the strength of our proven business model, our careful forward planning, the hard work of all our employees, and our solid partnerships across the aviation and travel ecosystem.”

Sheikh Ahmed praised Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum—the Vice President and Prime Minister of Dubai—for being instrumental in the rise of Emirates and the company’s successful business model, innovations, and global partnerships.

Over the last 12 months, the airline has expanded its global footprint with new commercial flights to Zanzibar, Tanzania, and new cargo operations in Germany and Canada. It has also taken full control of its ground-handling operations in Brazil.

Photo: The newly refurbished Premium Economy onboard the Airbus A380. Courtesy of Emirates.

The carrier has also boosted its employee numbers in that time, with Emirates Group’s total workforce increasing by around 20% last year. The Group now employs over 102,000 employees from more than 160 countries worldwide.

According to the airline, Emirates Group invested AED 7.2 billion ($2 billion) in new aircraft, facilities, equipment, and innovative technology in 2022-23, including a multi-billion-dollar aircraft retrofit program, an order for five new 777 Freighter aircraft, and the construction of a new pilot training center.

It also continued to invest in sustainability technology and signed up to the United Nations Global Compact as part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

“In 2022-23, we’ve not only bought back most of our operations but also grew our footprint and capabilities by investing in people, products, and new technologies – demonstrating our agility and ability,” added Sheikh Ahmed.

“We continue to lay strong foundations for future success and join hands with partners to grow our business and to collaborate on innovative solutions for travel and aviation.”

Sheikh Ahmed also noted that as the airline’s business expands, “so does our ability to make a positive impact on the communities we serve. We are steadfast in our commitment to deliver value to our customers and stakeholders while minimizing our environmental impact.”

“We go into 2023-24 with a strong positive outlook and expect the Group to remain profitable. We will work hard to hit our targets while keeping a close watch on inflation, high fuel prices, and political and economic uncertainty,” Sheikh Ahmed concluded.