Qantas strong balance sheet and financial discipline during the COVID-19 which included stripping out $1bn in costs has already started to pay off. Qantas now expects to return to profitability in 2023.
While most airlines are still plotting a path to post-Covid recovery, Qantas’s financial objectives has shifted to growth.
Qantas has been boosted by surging domestic demand back to pre-Covid levels and solid international forward bookings especially, to places like the US, Europe, Bali, and Fiji. Qantas is set to benefit from its more favourable competitive position both domestically and internationally with Virgin clipped and Airlines like Singapore Airlines and Emirates taking massive Covid profitability hits.
Qantas has targeted growth with several major fleet decisions that will reshape its international and domestic networks over the next decade. Qantas will replace its domestic fleet with all-new planes from European manufacturer Airbus from 2023. In addition, Qantas has just committed to Project sunrise by ordering 12 Airbus A350s capable of flying direct from Australia to any other city including New York and London, starting from Sydney in late 2025. The airline unveiled its cabin plan with a total of 238 seats for the A350-1000 aircraft it will use on the routes. The seat count is the lowest of any airline operating that aircraft, in an effort to increase comfort levels on flights of more than 19 or 20 hours duration. There is more leg room for economy passengers and even an exercise area and a wardrobe for first class suites.
Further evidence that Qantas financial focus have shifted to growth is that Qantas has just purchased a controlling stake in online travel business TripADeal to tap into the booming packaged holiday sector. Under the arrangement, Qantas Frequent Flyers can use points to book package holidays for ready-made African safaris, Japanese ski trips and Antarctic exploration.
More evidence is the airline has also just announced a partnership with Zip which gives domestic and international travellers the option to buy now, pay later so they can spread the cost over time choosing flexible repayments and earn Qantas points on the payments as well as the flight itself.
Qantas has also reached an agreement to buy smaller airline Alliance Aviation as part of its expansion plans to boost its share of the lucrative charter market. Alliance has a fleet of 70 jets and is the largest provider of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) charter services which include lucrative mining contracts worth more than $200m a year.
Qantas enlisted the vocals of Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman and Troye Sivan in its latest advertising campaign – a remake of Peter Allen’s ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ to showcase Australia as the world re-opens and travellers return to the skies. Sports stars Ash Barty, Adam Goodes, Ellie Cole and Bronte Campbell and Aboriginal elder Rene Kulitja also make an appearance, in spectacular settings such as Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia and Cape Raoul in Tasmania.
To operationally support its expansion Qantas has unveiled upgraded airport kiosks used to check in and print luggage tags. These new kiosks will make the check-in process four times faster. The new technology has already been installed at Sydney airport and will be rolled out to major airports across the country.
Source: Qantas dishes up Aussie icons for new heart-stirring campaign by R Ironside The Australian March 25th, Qantas balance sheet has airline positioned for growth by R Ironside The Australian May 3rd, Qantas buys Alliance Airways in revenue boosting exercise by R Ironside The Australian May 5th, Qantas is now offering fly now pay later by J Clarke News May 19th, Qantas shopping spree extends to online travel business by R Ironside The Australian May 24th