Emirates SkyCargo volumes close in on pre-pandemic levels in H1

By Damian Brett

Emirates SkyCargo saw its freight volumes head towards pre-pandemic levels in the first half of its financial year, helping the overall airline narrow losses.

The Emirates Group’s cargo arm saw cargo volumes reach 1.1m tonnes in the six month period – an increase of 39% year on year and 90% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels.

“This shows Emirates Skycargo’s outstanding agility and ability to meet the requirements of its customers whether it be for the transport of vaccines and pharmaceuticals, essential goods like food and perishables, or champion horses and high performance cars,” Emirates said.

While there was progress on the cargo front, the overall group reported a net loss of $1.6bn, although this was an improvement on the $3.8bn loss registered last year.

Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Our cargo transport and handling businesses continued to perform strongly, providing the bedrock upon which we were able to quickly reinstate passenger services.

“While there’s still some way to go before we restore our operations to pre-pandemic levels and return to profitability, we are well on the recovery path with healthy revenue and a solid cash balance at the end of our first half of 2021-22.”

Looking at the cargo business’ highlights for the half year, the company pointed to the addition of 94 cool room pallet positions to its existing EU GDP compliant infrastructure at Dubai airport.

It added that it had carried more than 150m Covid-19 vaccine doses through its Dubai hub by July 2021.

Dnata on the up

The group’s ground handling business, dnata, also saw cargo volumes increase during the six month period, jumping by 9% year on year to 1.4m tonnes.

The business reported a profit of $23m compared with a loss of $396m last year.

“dnata’s businesses in cargo and ground handling, catering and retail, and travel services saw demand return quickly wherever pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions were eased,” Emirates said.

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