Qatar Airways receive US$2 billion state aid amid COVID-19 crisis

Published on : Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Qatar Airways recently received around US$2 billion in state aid in a time when the carrier is struggling to fight against the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Middle Eastern carrier said in a recent statement that 2019 and 2020 has been its most difficult years.

Besides the global pandemic, the airline had also been hit by the ongoing blockade of Qatari airspace and the recent collapse of Air Italy. The company released its financial results for the past year and also reported that changes to accounting policy had also taken a toll on the carrier.

According to reports, the airline saw net losses nearly double to seven billion riyals (US$1.92 billion) for the 12-months to March. It also confirmed that Qatar had joined a list of governments that have decided to support their national carriers through the coronavirus shutdown.

In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the aviation sector, Qatar Airways has planned to issue 730 million shares to the government after annual losses exceeded 50% of share capital. However, striking a positive note, Akbar al-Baker, Chief Executive, Qatar Airways Group pointed out that that the results of the airline would have been better than before if not for the exceptional circumstances of fiscal year 2020.

He also mentioned that a series of metrics were actually headed in a positive direction as Qatar Airways saw revenue increase 6.5% to 51 billion riyals (US$14 billion) last year, while seat capacity increased by 3.2%. Much of the true impact of the pandemic on Qatar Airways still remains unclear.

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