Emirates Airline revealed yesterday that it had recorded losses for the first time in more than three decades due to the repercussions of the coronavirus which brought air travel to a "literal standstill".
The Dubai based airline said it had suffered a loss of $3.4 billion during the period from March until September.
"We started our current fiscal year in the midst of a global blockade, when air passenger traffic was literally at a standstill. In this unprecedented situation for the aviation and travel industry, the Emirates Group recorded a half-year loss for the first time in over 30 years," Emirates Airline Chief Executive, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said in a statement.
Al Maktoum explained that as a result of the spread of coronavirus, the company had to suspend its flights for weeks, before resuming them to a number of cities which helped to restore revenues from zero to 26 per cent of what was recorded in the same period last year.
The company's total revenue fell by about 75 per cent to $3.2 billion between 1 April and 30 September, after it carried only 1.5 million passengers; a decrease of about 95 per cent compared to last year.
Emirates Airline Chairman, Tim Clark, said the suspension of flights and the decline in the number of travellers forced the company to lay off about 9,000 employees.
The group used to employ 60,000 people, including 4,300 pilots.