September 22, 2022

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The airline posted an underlying loss of $1.86 billion and a statutory loss of $1.19 billion in an update to the market this morning.

The airline cited the impact of Delta and Omicron as well as the costs of restarting flights after the lockdowns finally ended.

Qantas has recorded a $1.8 billion loss for the last year.
Qantas has recorded a $1.8 billion loss for the last year. (Kate Geraghty)

CEO Alan Joyce said the past three years have resulted in total revenue losses of $25 billion.

“These figures are staggering and getting through to the other side has obviously been tough,” he said.

“We had to ramp down almost all flying once Delta hit and stay that way for several months before ramping back up through multiple Omicron waves as we all learned to live with COVID in the community.”

Joyce also cited sick leave and labour shortages posing a serious problem as travel demand picked back up.

He said there was a big improvement in baggage handling and cancellations in August, and said he expected a return to pre-COVID standards next month.

Qantas went from practically no passengers to massive queues over the course of the financial year.
Qantas went from practically no passengers to massive queues over the course of the financial year. (Louise Kennerley)

Domestic flying was at 63 per cent of pre-COVID levels for the past financial year, and at 103 per cent by June 30.

Fuel costs were also a major factor on the Qantas balance sheets, up 60 per cent on 2019 prices.

The airline flagged it would be spending $50 million this year on pay rises for staff.

Today Qantas opened a new cabin crew training centre in the Sydney suburb of Mascot, and a flight training centre will open by the end of 2023.

“We’re even more confident in the future than we were six months ago,” Joyce said.

“There is a lot of work happening to bring us back to our best, including hiring more people, rolling out new technology and reducing domestic flying so we have more sick leave cover.”

The board has approved an on-market share buyback of up to $400 million, the first return to shareholders since 2019.

A century of Qantas: From outback airline to global giant

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