More planes and new routes are in the offing as Qantas takes advantage of healthy travel demand.
Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd posted a significant turnaround in its profit on Thursday, underpinned by a continued strong rebound in travel demand, and announced a share buyback of A$500 million.
Demand for air travel has boomed since the removal of pandemic-related restrictions and border closures. This, coupled with a shortage of aircraft, parts and labour have all contributed to higher air fares globally.
“Travel demand is incredibly robust and we’ve taken delivery of more aircraft and opened up new routes to help meet it,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.
The airline posted an annual underlying profit before tax of A$2.47 billion ($1.60 billion) for the year ended June 30, compared to a loss of A$1.86 billion a year ago, posting its first full year statutory profit since fiscal year 2019.
Additionally, its profit was helped by the completion of the group’s A$1 billion recovery program launched in 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results beat the mid-point of the flagship carrier’s profit outlook of A$2.43 billion to A$2.48 billion, nearly A$850 million higher than its 2018 record of A$1.60 billion.
Analysts were expecting a profit of A$2.45 billion, according to Refinitiv Eikon.
The company, however, did not announce a final dividend, continuing the trend of non-payment for the past three years.
($1 = 1.5437 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Roushni Nair and Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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Photo credit: A Quantas plan. The airline saw a profit rebound bolstered by robust travel demand. Source: Reuters