After losses, Emirates airline chief expecting profit next year

Emirates, based in Dubai, plans to cut losses in the current fiscal year and turn a profit next year, according to the airline’s president.

“We’re in for a strong set of results,” Tim Clark told reporters, adding that the airline had been cash-positive since October.

“We’ve turned the firm back to profitability, we’re cash-positive again in a significant way, and we’ve been constructing a very strong balance sheet,” Clark added.

“We expect profits next year, and we aim to issue a dividend and recover some of the government’s shares,” he continued.

The carrier’s fiscal year spans from January to March.

After the coronavirus epidemic harmed long-haul travel and caused the airline’s first annual loss in more than three decades, Emirates received an additional $1.1 billion in state backing from Dubai in June of last year.

Clark said on the margins of the World Government Summit in Dubai that if the A350 passenger jets exhibit surface concerns similar to those identified by Qatar Airways, Emirates will not take delivery of them.

“We’re not going to fly on planes that have been degraded. I stated emphatically… that this issue must be remedied prior to delivery to Emirates.”

Airbus is in a legal battle with Qatar Airways in the United Kingdom about the contractual and safety consequences of paint and lightning protection damage on current A350 passenger planes.

Several airlines have noticed A350 paint difficulties, while Qatar Airways has voiced concerns about the safety of the affected planes due to deeper underlying issues with a layer of lightning protection linked to the paint.

Clark’s remarks elicited no immediate response from Airbus, which has admitted quality issues but denied any safety risk.

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