Australia: Qantas records huge loss due to covid

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Sydney (awp/afp) – Australian airline Qantas on Thursday reported huge losses in the second half of the year, increasing its difficulties due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions and the arrival of the Omicron variant.

Qantas has recorded more than 20 billion Australian dollars (13.2 billion Swiss francs during the day) in losses since the beginning of the pandemic.

The airline said it hoped to gradually resume flights in the second half of this year, three days after reopening its borders to tourists, after being closed for two years.

According to Qantas, domestic flights are expected to fly at 90-100% of pre-covid-19 pandemic capacity by June 30 and international flights less than half.

The Australian company’s preferred indicator, which excludes underlying loss, exceptional items and asset impairments before tax, was 1.28 billion Australian dollars in the second half of the year, compared to a loss of 1.01 billion Australian dollars in 2020.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said the emergence of the Delta variant in July disrupted domestic flights, restricting domestic travel for months just as authorities began taking travel.

“Then, as demand began to pick up for the Christmas holiday, the Omicron variant emerged, dealing another blow to consumer confidence,” Mr Joyce said.

“In all honesty, it’s been a rollercoaster,” he said.

Qantas said its revenue grew 32 per cent year-on-year to 3.07 billion Australian dollars in the six months to December 31.

But at the same time, spending on personnel and devices has increased over the same period.

Qantas ‘ net loss was 456 million Australian dollars, down from more than 1 billion Australian dollars a year earlier, largely due to the sale of company-owned land in Sydney.

ap Photo/J. h

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