DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Emirates Air, one of the world's largest airlines, said it lost $1.1 billion over the past fiscal year, which was still an 80 percent improvement from one year earlier.
The airline had posted a $5.5. billion loss in the previous fiscal year.
The Mideast's top carrier said revenue was up 91 percent, reaching $16.1 billion, and expects to climb out of the red and become profitable this year. It also plans to start slowly paying back the Dubai government, its shareholder that lent the airline $4 billion to stay afloat amid COVID-19 lockdowns.
Chairman and chief executive of Emirates Air, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said business recovery picked up pace in the second half of the fiscal year, with demand for travel coming back. It's unclear how much of that was related to the Dubai World Fair, or Expo, which ended in March.
The wider Emirates Group, which operates ground services provider dnata, said dnata was profitable during the past fiscal year, reversing a $496 million loss in the previous year and reporting a $30 million profit.
"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," Al Saeed said in last week's earnings report.