Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) or one of its subsidiaries could soon be listed on the Dubai Financial Market stock exchange, Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, the group’s chairman and chief executive, said while touring the 2021 Dubai Air Show.

Speculation that the state-owned airline could stage an Initial Public Offering (IPO) has been ongoing for decades, such as in 2007 when its president, Tim Clark, commented that a listing was likely to value it at between USD20 billion and USD30 billion.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, however, it has posted losses and received state equity injections totalling USD3.1 billion.

Earlier this month, the Emirate of Dubai announced the listing of ten state-owned companies on the local stock exchange in an acceleration of new listings in sectors such as energy, retail, and logistics. So far, it has named the Salik road toll system and the utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to take this route.

“We are one of the companies owned by the government of Dubai. I’m sure that the [Dubai Securities and Exchange Higher Committee] will be announcing which company will be [listed next]. Within Emirates Group, one or two units [could be listed] - there are many successful businesses that we run,” he said without elaborating, as quoted by Gulf Business magazine.

Al-Maktoum also pledged that Emirates will deploy more A380-800s as demand rises.

“Currently we have forty-seven A380s in operation, and by the end of the year we plan to deploy roughly sixty,” he said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, forty-nine of the airline’s 120 A380s are currently active.

As previously reported, Emirates announced at the airshow that it had ordered six freighters - two B777-Fs from Boeing and four B777-300(ER)(SF)s from Israel Aerospace Industries.