Emirates airline chief predicts return to profit next year

Band Yousef Saba

DUBAI, March 29 (Reuters)Emirates of Dubai expects to significantly reduce losses in the current financial year and return to profit next year, the airline’s chairman said on Tuesday.

“We’re on a good run of results, we haven’t completely reversed it but we’ve reversed it,” Tim Clark told reporters, adding the carrier has been cash positive since October.

“We’ve brought the business back to profitability, we’re very cash positive again, we have a very strong balance sheet again which we’ve rebuilt,” Clark said.

“We expect profits next year and hope to pay a dividend and return some of the equity the government has invested in the business,” he added.

The carrier’s fiscal year runs through March.

In June last year, Emirates secured an additional $1.1 billion in aid from the state of Dubai after the coronavirus pandemic hit long-haul travel and triggered the first annual loss of the airline in more than three decades.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai, Clark said Emirates would not take delivery of A350 passenger planes if they had surface problems similar to those reported by Qatar Airways.

“We are not going to take planes with a downgrade. I have clarified…this needs to be resolved prior to delivery to Emirates.”

Airbus is locked in a UK legal dispute with Qatar Airways over the contractual and safety implications of paint damage and lightning protection on existing A350 passenger planes.

Several airlines reported problems with the A350 paint, while Qatar Airways complained of deeper underlying issues with a lightning protection layer attached to the paint and said it raised questions about the safety of the aircraft. had concerned.

Airbus, which acknowledged quality issues but denied any safety threats, had no immediate comment on Clark’s remarks.

Emirates will continue to fly to Russia until owners-president tell it not toID:nL2N2VW0LJ

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Tim Hepher and Bernadette Baum)

((tim.hepher@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 54 52; Reuters Messaging: tim.hepher.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))

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