Business & Economy

Qantas posts annual loss of $1.41 billion due to COVID-19

Sydney, Australia, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd on Thursday reported an annual net loss of AU$1.96 billion ($1.41 billion) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced border closures in March.

Qantas also posted an underlying profit before tax – the most widely used measure by companies to evaluate their performance – of AU$124 million between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, which is 91 percent less than that of the previous financial year.

“The impact of COVID on all airlines is clear. It’s devastating and it will be a question of survival for many,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement, which added that international flights were unlikely to start before July 2021.

In June, the airline announced the slashing of thousands of jobs and the reduction of its costs by some AU$15 billion as part of its three-year restructuring plan on account of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’ve had to make some very tough decisions in the past few months to guarantee our future. At least 6,000 of our people will leave the business through no fault of their own, and thousands more will be stood down for a long time,” Joyce said.

“Recovery will take time and it will be choppy. We’ve already had setbacks with borders opening and then closing again. But we know that travel is at the top of people’s wish lists and that demand will return as soon as restrictions lift. That means we can get more of our people back to work,” he added.

The carrier’s recovery plan also includes the standing down of around 20,000 of its 29,000 employees, especially those engaged in international operations, until flights abroad resume, and grounding some 100 planes, among other measures.

“COVID is reshaping the competitive landscape and that presents a mix of challenges and opportunities for us. Most airlines will come through this crisis a lot leaner, which means we have to reinvent how we run parts of our business to succeed in a changed market,” explained the CEO of the airline, which turns 100 this year. EFE-EPA


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