Published on : Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Qantas recently reported an AUS$2.6 billion (£1.2 billion) full-year loss for 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the airline said it has started financial 2022 in a “fundamentally better position” to deal with uncertainty and manage its recovery.
In total, the Australian flag-carrier said it lost AUS$16 billion (£8.4 billion) in revenue in the wake of the pandemic. This follows a year of minimal international travel and multiple waves of domestic border restrictions, both of which continue to hit demand.
Underlying EBITDA was AUS$410 million (£216 million), in line with guidance provided in May. Periods of open domestic borders in the second half of the year saw significant cash generation by Qantas and Jetstar, which helped the group to reduce net debt from AUS$6.4 billion (£3.4 billion) in February down to AUS$5.9 billion (£3.1 billion) by the end of June.
Throughout the year, cash flow was underpinned by continued strong performance by Qantas Loyalty and significantly higher international yields for Qantas Freight. Alan Joyce, Chief Executive, Qantas Group said in a statement that the loss shows the impact that a full year of closed international borders and more than 330 days of domestic travel restrictions had on the national carrier.
He mentioned that the trading conditions have been diabolical especially on top of the significant loss last year and the travel restrictions in the past few months. He said that it is likely that Covid-19 will cost more than AUS$20 billion (£10.5 billion) in revenue by the end of the year. He continued that things are tough, especially for thousands of people waiting to return to their jobs when borders open and hopefully stay open.
He stated that the airline is focused on getting them back to work as soon as possible, which is why it was ramping up flying and adding new destinations before the most recent lockdowns. He also shared that despite the uncertainty the carrier is in a far better position to manage it than this time last year. He said that the airline will be able to move quickly when borders open and close as the company is a leaner and more efficient organisation.