Qantas posts fourth consecutive half yearly loss in 1HFY22 report

Sydney, Australia - January 17, 2019: Qantas and Jetstar aircraft's tail at Sydney Kingsford Smith International airport tarmac.

In its report for the first half of FY22, Qantas Group posted its fourth consecutive half-yearly statutory loss after it was severely impacted by the Delta lockdown and the emergence of Omicron.

Widespread domestic lockdowns and continued international restrictions reduced the Group’s total flying to 18 per cent of pre-COVID levels during the half.

Qantas recorded an underlying EBITDA loss of $245 million for the first half of FY22.

Underlying EBIT loss was $1.13 billion, reflecting non-cash depreciation and amortisation.

Revenue losses since the start of the pandemic grew to more than $22 billion.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, commented that he was frustrated by the losses the group suffered, but he wasn’t surprised.

“Most of Australia was in lockdown for several months of the first half, so the loss we’ve announced today isn’t surprising but it is frustrating,” Joyce said.

“We saw a sharp rebound in travel demand when borders started opening in November and December, only to be hit by the Omicron wave and all the uncertainty that came with it.”

Despite these losses, the Group strengthened its balance sheet the sale of under-utilised land at Mascot; a rush of flight bookings as the Delta lockdowns ended; international border closures easing in the second quarter; and strong contributions from Qantas Freight and Qantas Loyalty.

Qantas’ net debt finished the half at $5.5 billion, putting it within the Group’s target range.

However, the Group recorded three consecutive months of positive net free cash flow between October and December, excluding the land sale, largely as a result of the recovery in forward bookings.

“We’re on track to deliver more than $900 million in annualised savings through restructuring by the end of FY22, which is ahead of schedule and means we’re able to recover faster and perform better than a pre-COVID Qantas Group could have,” Joyce said

“The challenge of COVID hasn’t obscured the challenge of sustainability and emissions. Since January, we’ve been adding sustainable aviation fuel into our flights from London and we’re on the cusp of doing the same out of the US.

“We’ll have a significant update on our plans for emissions reduction next month,” the Qantas CEO concluded.

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