Qantas announced a staggering loss of $ 1.83 billion for 2021, with the Australian airline saying border closures are largely to blame.
In what has been an 18-month horror for the global aviation industry, Qantas has revealed a staggering $ 2.3 billion pre-tax loss amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic that has decimated the tourism industry.
At the underlying level, the airline’s loss was $ 1.8 billion, a figure beating experts’ forecasts.
In the airline’s annual business update released Thursday, the country’s largest airline said the results were the result of ongoing international border closures, as well as strict restrictions on domestic travel and state blockades. , especially in New South Wales during the Christmas season.
“This loss shows the impact that a full year of closed international borders and more than 330 days of domestic travel restrictions have had on the national carrier. The trading terms have been downright devilish, ”Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said on Thursday.
“This is in addition to the significant loss we reported last year and the travel restrictions we have seen in recent months. By the end of this calendar year, it’s likely that Covid will cost us more than $ 20 billion in revenue.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, Qantas has announced 46 new domestic routes, many to regional destinations, in response to a leisure travel boom driven in large part by the closure of international borders.
But despite the substantial loss, the airline said it started fiscal 2022 in a fundamentally better position.
“We are in a much better position to manage it than at this time last year,” said Joyce.
“We are able to act quickly when borders open and close. We are a leaner and more efficient organization. And our demand that all employees be vaccinated will create a safer environment for our employees and customers.
“When Australia achieves these critical vaccination targets later this year and the likelihood of future border lockdowns and closures diminishes, we expect demand for domestic travel to increase and international travel to gradually return. “
Mr Joyce has provided edifying news for Australians keen to dust off their passports, with the airline still heading for a reboot in 2021.
The Qantas Group stressed that according to current projections Australia is expected to meet the national cabinet’s “phase C” vaccination threshold of 80% by December 2021, which would trigger the gradual reopening of international borders.
Mr Joyce said that key markets like UK, North America and parts of Asia have high and increasing levels of immunization, which makes them very likely to be classified as low risk for vaccinated travelers to visit and return from reduced quarantine conditions.
Flights to destinations that still have low vaccination rates and high levels of COVID infection, such as Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg will likely remain closed until later in 2022.
The annual results come just days after the Australian airline announced it would make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for all employees if they wish to keep their jobs with the airline.
Last week, Mr Joyce said Qantas’ tenure would come into effect from mid-November.
The airline said in a statement that frontline staff – such as cabin crew, pilots and airport workers – will need to be fully immunized by November 15, while all remaining employees will need vaccine by the end of March 2022.