Qantas: After record Covid losses, Australian airline profits soar

In Sydney, a Qantas plane

Qantas has reported half-year profits of more than A$1 billion ($683 million; £566 million), marking a sharp improvement over the previous year.

It comes after Australia imposed strict travel restrictions and the company suffered losses of more than A$7 billion during the pandemic.

Last year, it experienced more problems, receiving a barrage of criticism for delayed flights, lost luggage, and cancellations.

The airline attributed its recovery to increased demand for flights, higher ticket prices, and cost-cutting measures.

As travel restrictions related to the pandemic were relaxed, according to chief executive Alan Joyce, revenue for the six months ending in December tripled to almost A$10 billion.

The A$1 billion profit contrasts with a loss of A$456 million during the same period the year prior.

Considering the enormous losses we were experiencing just a year ago, Mr. Joyce said, "This is a huge turnaround.".

Australia imposed some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world as a result of the pandemic, which severely impacted many airlines as nations closed their borders.

Due to strict arrival quotas, borders remained closed to the majority of non-Australians for more than 18 months, leaving thousands of Australians stranded abroad.

In an effort to cut costs, Qantas announced in August 2020 that it would outsource about 2,000 ground staff roles and lay off thousands of workers.

However, that led to a pricey legal dispute and a staffing crisis.

As regulations were relaxed last year, the shortages caused havoc at Australian airports, causing long check-in lines and delays for passengers. Senior executives were brought in to help fill the gaps.

As resentment increased, news emerged in August that eggs and toilet paper had been thrown at Mr. Joyce's A$19 million waterfront home.

After five of its aircraft had to be turned back mid-flight due to technical problems, the airline in January rejected claims of widespread problems with its aircraft, compounding its problems.

Despite these incidents, Qantas was once again ranked as the world's safest airline by

On Thursday, Mr. Joyce stated that the airline was "reinvesting" for its customers and that as supply chain and resourcing issues subsided, fares would begin to "decline pressure.".

However, Qantas also issued a warning that prices would remain "significantly" higher than those of 2019.

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