Australia’s Qantas flies into profit with ‘record results’

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas announced on Thursday that the group has made profits with “a record result” for the first half of fiscal year 2023, after suffering losses in three consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement, the Qantas Group delivered an underlying profit before tax of 1.43 billion Australian dollars (about 0.98 billion U.S. dollars), 49 percent higher than the prior first-half record result achieved in fiscal year 2018.

The statutory profit after tax reached 1.0 billion Australian dollars, while the group’s net debt declined to 2.4 billion Australian dollars.

Qantas domestic flying increased from 86 percent of the pre-COVID capacity in the second half of 2022 to 94 percent, and its international capacity almost doubled from 31 percent of the pre-COVID level to 60 percent.

Consistently strong travel demand, higher yields, and cost improvements from the group’s recovery program were highlighted as the drivers of the half-year result.

“This is a huge turnaround considering the massive losses we were facing just 12 months ago,” said Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce.

“Returning to profit means we can get back to reinvesting for our customers, which is clear from the network, fleet, and lounge announcements we’ve made, and from the Project Sunrise cabins we’re previewing. Importantly for our investors, this also sets us up to deliver long-term shareholder value,” he added.

In August 2022, Qantas reported its third consecutive year of losses, bringing the total toll from the COVID-19 pandemic to nearly 7 billion Australian dollars. (1 Australian dollar equals 0.68 U.S. dollar) ■

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