Qantas posts massive AU$1.964 billion annual loss as virus now hits domestic Australian travel

©Qantas

Qantas has posted a full-year net loss of AU$1.964 billion for the financial year ended June 30. One of its largest ever losses, this one has been driven by impairment charges and restructuring costs intended to shore up the company during the pandemic.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CE, confirmed that the carrier was operating among the worst conditions ever encountered and that there needs to be a national framework established for domestic flights. He was in full agreement with the necessity for the shut down of the State of Victoria, but failed to see the benefit of shutting down travel between states such as Western Australia and South Australia where there are no reports of community spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. “We’re not saying, ‘open the borders’ blankly,” Joyce made clear, “We’re saying, ‘Let’s have the rules to say what would you have to see in order for those borders to be open.’”

Qantas is operating at 20% of its normal domestic schedule for August, though if all state borders reopened this could increase to 75%. Indicating that he felt international travel will not return with any confidence until a vaccine is found, likely not until mid-to-late 2021, Joyce added that: “We were on track for another profit above AU$1 billion when this crisis struck.”

Qantas took approximately AU$2.8 billion worth of one-off charges, which included a write-down of AU$1.4 billion on its Airbus SE A380 fleet, which is currently lying idle in the Mojave Desert. The carrier’s AU$124 million underlying pre-tax profit in the 12 months ended June 30, was well above the AU$6.5 million average profit expected by analysts. (US$1.00 = AU$1.39 at time of publication.)

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