Get ready to buckle up, because Qantas is back in business!
The Australian airline has announced half-year profits of more than A$1.4bn, marking a dramatic turnaround from the record losses of more than A$7bn it suffered due to the pandemic. Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce, said the company's strong rebound was due to increased demand for flights, higher airfares, and cost-cutting.
Despite being hit hard by the pandemic, Qantas has regained its status as the world's safest airline, according to AirlineRatings.com's rankings. While Australia had some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world, the easing of pandemic travel restrictions and the reopening of borders have seen revenue triple to almost A$10bn for the six months to the end of December.
Qantas announced in August 2020 that it would outsource around 2,000 ground staff roles and cut thousands of jobs, leading to a costly court case and staffing shortages. These shortages caused chaos at Australian airports as restrictions eased last year, with passengers facing long delays and queues for check-in, while senior executives were called in to help fill the gaps.
Despite these setbacks, Qantas is reinvesting for its customers, and as supply chain and resourcing issues ease, travellers will start to see "downward pressure" on fares, according to Mr Joyce. However, the airline cautions that fares will remain "significantly" above 2019 levels. But hey, at least we can travel again!