Qantas: Australian airline sees record profits following Covid losses

Sydney-bound Qantas aircraft

In a dramatic turnabout from last year, Qantas has reported half-year profits of more than A$1 billion ($683 million; £566 million).

It happens after the company suffered a loss of over $7 billion when Australia imposed strict travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

Last year, it faced more problems as a result of numerous complaints about delayed flights, lost luggage, and cancelled flights.

The airline attributed its recovery to cost-cutting, increased airfares, and a high demand for flights.

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

The $1 billion profit compares to a $456 million loss for the same period the year prior.

When you consider the enormous losses we were experiencing just a year ago, this is a significant turnaround, Mr. Joyce said.

As nations closed their borders due to the pandemic, many airlines were severely impacted. Australia imposed some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world.

Due to strict arrival quotas, most non-Australians were prohibited from entering the country for more than 18 months, leaving thousands of Australians stranded abroad.

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

But that resulted in a pricey legal battle and a staffing crisis.

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

Anger increased, and in August it was revealed that eggs and toilet paper had been thrown at Mr. Joyce's A$19 million waterfront home.

The airline, which already had problems, rejected suggestions in January that there were widespread problems with its aircraft after five of them had to make emergency landings due to technical difficulties.

Despite these incidents, Qantas once again topped the rankings of AirlineRatings . com as the safest airline in the world.

Mr. Joyce claimed on Thursday that the airline was "reinvesting" for its customers and that as supply chain and resourcing problems subsided, fares would start to "decline pressure.".

But Qantas also issued a warning, stating that prices would stay "significantly" higher than in 2019.

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