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Qantas and Air New Zealand Report Post-Covid Profits
Both the Qantas Group and Air New Zealand announced significant profits this week for the first full year of post-Covid operations. Both Australia and New Zealand observe a financial year that runs from 01 July through 30 June. The Australian carrier posted an ‘underlying profit before tax’ of AU$2.47 billion ($1.59 billion) with the Kiwi airline achieving ‘statutory earnings before taxation’ of NZ$574 million ($339.49 million).
Qantas Group chief executive officer Alan Joyce said: “We safely flew almost 70 billion more seat kilometers and doubled the number of people we carried to 46 million compared to the year before. Travel demand is incredibly robust and we’ve taken delivery of more aircraft and opened up new routes to help meet it.” As reported by AirlineGeeks, the carrier earlier this week announced orders for 24 additional aircraft, 12 Airbus A350s and 12 Boeing 787s.
Greg Foran, the chief executive officer of Air New Zealand, hailed his airline’s result and confirmed future fleet strategy. “After several volatile years it’s great to be back in the black and standing on our own two feet especially given we have more than NZ$3.5 billion ($2.07 billion) in aircraft investment coming over the next five years,” said Foran.
“Today we also announced an order for two new ATR turboprop aircraft for regional routes, as well as two new Airbus A321neos for our international short-haul network. That’s in addition to the existing domestic Airbus A321neo orders, and the eight new Boeing 787 Dreamliners we have coming into the fleet as we retire our Boeing 777-300s over time. And we’re retrofitting our 14 787s with the new Business Premier Luxe™ and refreshed cabin product.”
The contribution of the airlines’ employees was cited in achieving the turnaround in financial performance for both carriers. Qantas Group’s Joyce stated: “Our people have done a superb job under very difficult circumstances. Today’s result means more than 21,000 non-executive staff will receive up to $6,000 worth of Qantas shares as a thank you for their part in our recovery, plus another $500 staff travel credit. This is in addition to a $5,000 cash payment to eligible employees as new enterprise agreements are finalized.”
Air New Zealand Chair Dame Therese Walsh said: “This result would not have been possible without our remarkable team of Air New Zealanders. Their grit, determination and commitment to deliver exceptional service for our customers are second to none.” Foran mentioned that 3000 staff had been added to the airline’s headcount over the year and that “we have rehired and trained in a tight labor market, lifted the starting wage for the airport teams to NZ$30 ($17.70) an hour.”
Looking ahead Qantas has forecast that international capacity will return to pre-Covid levels by the second half of the now current financial year. Air New Zealand expressed some caution for the future describing the 2023 financial year as being ‘particularly unique’. The airline explained it was ‘mindful of the uncertain economic environment’ citing a number of factors that may affect passenger demand and impact the airline’s future profitability. These factors included ‘increased international competition, volatile fuel prices, a weaker New Zealand dollar, ongoing wage inflation and increased airport charges.’
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