(Bloomberg) — Emirates Group, owner of the world’s largest long-haul carrier, slumped to a first-half loss of 14.1 billion dirhams ($3.8 billion) after the coronavirus pandemic reduced demand for air travel to a trickle.
The loss for the state-owned company compared with profit of 1.2 billion dirhams in the same period last year, Emirates said in a statement on Thursday. Revenue fell 74% as an increase in cargo traffic wasn’t enough to offset the decline of commercial flights.
Emirates was particularly hard hit by the pandemic because its business model is built around the biggest category of jets — Airbus SE A380s and Boeing Co. 777s — carrying passengers between all corners of the globe. Long-haul travel is widely expected by the industry to be the slowest to recover from the crisis as passengers shy away from lengthy journeys and virus hotspots.
The Dubai-based carrier, which started resuming regular passenger flights on May 21 after suspending most trips for almost two months, has recovered almost a sixth of its pre-pandemic network.
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