Dubai govt injects $2 billion into Emirates amidst pandemic

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Emirates Airline
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The Dubai government has injected $2 billion into Emirates, its flagship airline, after the corona virus pandemic nearly halted global air travel since March.

Neither the government nor the airline has officially announced such an injection. The specifics were revealed in a prospectus by the Dubai government for a possible bond issuance.

The prospectus mentioned that the government is ready to send more aid to the airline.

The state clarified earlier in the year it was committed to providing financial help to the world’s largest long-haul airline, and records show the extent of the support provided over the past 5 months.

“Any further support will be subject to the airline’s requirements and will depend on the impact and duration of the ongoing COVID-19 situation,” according to the document.

Emirates has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, as its business model is based around the largest jet segment — Airbus SE A380s and Boeing Co. 777s — carrying passengers around the globe.

The industry generally expects long-haul travel to be the slowest to recover from the crisis, as travelers shy away from long journeys and virus hotspots.

Dubai joins a number of international governments forced to step in to save their domestic airlines, with the likes of Deutsche Lufthansa SA (of Germany) receiving billions of dollars to help them through the crisis.

While several borders have reopened since the initial increase in infections waned, subsequent travel restrictions to help control fresh outbreaks have hampered the recovery rate.

On May 21, Emirates resumed some daily passenger flights, after nearly two months after suspending most journeys. Earlier this month, Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha said in an interview that the airline plans to expand its network to 80 destinations in September.

Emirates has started the process of dismissing thousands of employees to help conserve cash in the midst of the current downturn and is exploring other means to streamline operations. The carrier is also in discussions to pivot and focus on smaller aircrafts for its fleet in the future.