Emirates will start paying back a $4 billion loan

With life and travel slowly returning to normal, Emirates plans to pay back the $4 billion (AED14.6 billion) loan it received during the height of the pandemic.

The huge cash loan came in two parts from the UAE government during 2020 and 2021 and provided a lifeline for one of the world’s largest airlines.

And with profits returning to pre-pandemic levels, emiratesCEO and Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the airline will start paying down its debt while speaking at the ATM conference in Dubai this week.

“It was a capital for the company and that is why I say that from next year we will be paying all that money … during the period of time,” he said. Emirates has not set a timetable for when the debt will be paid off in full or if they will be able to pay off the loan in one lump sum.

2021 was a bad year for the airline as it posted a net loss of $5.5 billion, a drop of more than 66%. Incredibly, it was the first time in more than 30 years that Emirates’ parent group had not made a profit.

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