The full commercial benefits of Qantas’ alliance with Emirates will become evident in the 2015 financial year, according to chief executive Alan Joyce, as he reported an improvement in the performance of Qantas International.
The airline’s international arm finished the 2013 financial year with an underlying earnings before interest and tax loss of $246 million – half the losses of last year.
“We are two years into our five-year turnaround plan for Qantas International – and we are on track towards our target of a return to profit in FY15,” Joyce told a press briefing in Sydney this morning.
The 2013 financial year saw Qantas shift its international hub from Singapore to Dubai as its partnership with Emirates began, with Joyce reporting an “overwhelming” response to the tie-up.
“Codeshare bookings by Qantas customers on Emirates’ network are running at about twice the level of our previous network to Europe – which included BA, Cathay, Air France and Iberia,” he said.
Bookings by Emirates customers on Qantas’ domestic network are running at three times the level of the previous network.
Meanwhile, he underlined the ongoing importance of Asia for the airline, admitting it will take time to see the benefits of its new regional strategy which saw the carrier boost capacity and reschedule services to better suit the market.
Load factors of 56% on Asia routes in May, rose to 75% in June and continue to climb, he revealed.
“So we’re growing into this capacity at a more rapid rate than I thought we would,” Joyce said.
But he stressed the need to treat each market individually.
“One size does not fit all for Asia,” he said. “There is no Asian silver bullet.”