Qantas half years results are in, and the outcome is again ugly. Qantas posted a $1.28 billion loss for the first 6 months of the 2022 financial year which is worse than the $1bn loss posted in the previous corresponding period. It is Qantas’ fourth consecutive half-year loss because of the Delta and Omicron Covid-19 outbreaks. Total losses since the start of Covid run to more than $6bn, sunk by a $22bn revenue hole.

Qantas now expects to be operating at 68 per cent of its pre-COVID flight capacity through to March, with this jumping to 90-100 per cent by June. International traffic remains at just 22 per cent of its pre-COVID levels through to the end of March, with this expected to double to 44 per cent by the end of June.

If battling Covid was not enough right now Qantas has to deal with the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Qantas is now sending its flights to London from Darwin well north of Ukraine to avoid the conflict. More serious is the stress the invasion is putting on global oil markets as oil passes the six-year threshold of $US100 a barrel. Remember fuel represents one of the top costs for Qantas. Fortunately, Qantas is one of the best hedged airlines in the world – a practice that locks in future prices.

Ironically, after cutting nearly 10,000 roles over the past two years, staffing is becoming a critical issue for Qantas as the airline prepares to grow again. White-collar workers and non-airline staff are becoming increasingly hard to come by. Technology workers, human resource, management, and legal specialists have been lured away to other companies following two years of wage freezes and the uncertainty of working in a sector that has been fighting for survival.

As a result, Qantas has unveiled a new retention and reward program for employees that remain with Qantas until August 2023. Around 20,000 eligible non-executive employees will be given rights to 1,000 Qantas shares, valued at more than $5000 each.

Source: Just as Qantas takes off, Ukraine war inflates oil prices by Eric Johnston The Australian Feb 24th, Little Aussie battler Qantas books a $1.3 billion loss by Robyn Ironside The Australian Feb 24th.

David Broadbridge

David Broadbridge holds a Bachelor of Commerce at the UNSW and a Dip Ed at UNE. He is the former Head Business Studies teacher at Pymble Ladies College. Follow David on Twitter or read his Qantas News Blog.