Australia’s biggest airline Qantus lands in losses

Qantus Aeroplane File PhotoQantus aeroplane grounded. Photo for representational purposes. | Picture Credit AP

Qantus declares a USD 1.7 billion loss to the Australian Securities Exchange

CANBERRA, Australia: The Qantas Group posted an AUD 2.35 billion (USD 1.7 billion) pandemic-related annual loss on Thursday and forecast Australia will reopen to international travel in December.

Qantus Revenue loss chart
Chart showing details of losses from Pre-COVID in 2019 to June 30 2021 | Source: Qantus Investor Report

The Sydney-based airline company said it expected flights to countries with high vaccination rates including the United States, Britain, Japan and Singapore would resume in mid-December. Flights to countries with lower vaccination rates including Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa would restart from April next year at the earliest, Qantas said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The Qantas prediction for a resumption in international travel was based on an agreement reached by Australian government leaders in July that the country will begin to reopen when 80% of the population aged 16 and older is fully vaccinated. Qantas expects Australia will have reached that target by December. According to the latest government figures released on Thursday, 32% of the target population was fully vaccinated.

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Qantas said it had lost AU$16 billion in revenue because of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The lost revenue would likely exceed AU$20 billion by the end of 2021. Australia’s largest airline has also suffered financial losses because of domestic travel restrictions. More than half the Australian population and the two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, are currently locked down due to a delta variant outbreak that began in mid-June. In the fiscal year that ended in June 30, 2020, Qantas’ annual loss was AU$1.96 billion ($141 million). The company had recorded a AU$771 million ($554 million) pre-tax profit in the first half of that fiscal year before the pandemic struck.

Edited by Utsav Parekh (Inputs by the Associated Press)