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Emirates upbeat on growth despite COVID global surge

DUBAI (AFP) – Aviation giant Emirates said yesterday it expects business to grow next year despite the surge in global coronavirus cases fuelled by the Omicron variant.

The Dubai-based carrier said in November it was already on the path to recovery as six-month losses dropped by more than half from a year earlier.

“Despite the recent rise of the Omicron variant and the slight slowdown it brought to our network, we are going into 2022 with optimism,” said Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.

“We’ve built up some great momentum this year and expect business growth to pick up speed in 2022,” he said in a company statement. “Aviation has always been resilient, and we will continue to work with our industry partners to build back better for our customers and communities.”

Emirates President Tim Clark said in November that the carrier expects to return to profitability “in the next 18 months”.

The carrier posted an April-September loss of USD1.6 billion, compared with losses of USD3.4 billion during the same period in 2020.

Emirates specialises in long-haul flights, with its fleet composed solely of large A380 and B777 aircraft, dozens of which it grounded amid a lack of passenger traffic.

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