Published on : Thursday, September 19, 2019
As per the Airlines report, the losses occurred due to the illegal blockade of Qatari airspace by the Middle Eastern nations and also due to suffering losses at the subsidiary Air Italy. There has been an economic boycott of Qatar by the United Arab Emirates (a key market for the Gulf carrier) along with Saudi Arabia since June 2017. The GCC members have accused Doha of linking up with extremist groups and getting too close to Iran. However, Qatar has refuted the allegations made up against it.
The surging fuel cost has also hit hard the Middle Eastern carrier, jumping by 36 per cent over the year.
The annual report has revealed that Air Italy has suffered a US$149 million loss of which half is borne by Qatar Airways Group. The Qatar Airways Group took a 49 per cent interest in the Air Italy two years ago. On a positive note, the Group’s overall revenue and the other operating income has increased by 14 per cent annually.
While there has been a 14.3 per cent growth in the passenger revenue, up by 13 per cent, the Cargo revenue has grown by 16.8 per cent, a growth of 11.8 per cent annually.
Executive jet revenue is also up by 18.4 per cent if compared to the previous year.
The Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, has said that this had been a challenging year for the Group and that it is even disappointing that the Group has incurred a loss of US$639 (attributed to the loss of mature routes, higher fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations) but he has stressed that the Group’s business remains robust.
It has to be noted here that the Group also acquired five per cent of the total issued share capital of China Southern Airlines during the same financial year.