UAE flag carrier Emirates announced Thursday, May 11th, that it has officially recovered from its losses during the pandemic as it posted earnings of around $2.9 billion in 2022.

According to the airline’s annual report, its revenue was up by 81% (approximately $29 billion) compared to the $16 billion it posted at the end of 2021. 2021 was also the year that Emirates reported a loss of around $1.1 billion in revenues.

Emirates’ recovery comes at a time when Dubai, the city-state which owns it, is seeing a revival in tourism following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, as well as a significant increase in the price of real estate. Controversially, Dubai has also welcomed Russian billionaires and their families following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.

According to Emirates chair and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, the airline anticipated the resurgence in global travel well before restrictions were lifted. As a result, Emirates was ready to rapidly and safely expand its operations in order to serve its clientele.

However, even though restrictions have since been relaxed, a number of the airline’s double-decker Airbus A380s have yet to get airborne as there aren’t enough mechanics to bring them up to par.

Paying Back

The Dubai government provided around $4 billion to the Emirates as a way of helping it along at the height of the pandemic. 

To date, the airline has repaid a little above $2 billion in other loans taken from several other financial firms outside the government. The total amount of its non-government loans currently stands at around $4.7 billion.

Nevertheless, the Emirates Group as a whole – a mega-enterprise that includes the Dubai National Air Travel Agency (DNATA) and several holdings in the fields of leisure and F&B services – reported total profits of almost $3 billion off $32.6 billion in revenues.

The group also declared a dividend of around $1.2 billion to its owner, the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Doing the Math for a Greener World

Earlier in the day, Emirates officials also announced the creation of a research and development fund specifically for initiatives geared towards the reduction of fossil fuels in commercial aviation.

The said fund is worth $200 million and will be distributed throughout a three-year period.

The airline also announced that it plans to use a more sustainable form of aviation fuel whenever possible despite the fact that a scarce few such fuels are available in the global market.