Qantas reports big loss, buffeted by Covid

Australian airline Qantas reported Thursday a large six-month loss as it weathered global coronavirus-related travel shutdowns, with Omicron extending its woes.
Qantas said it had now lost more than Aus$20 billion (US$14 billion) in revenue since the start of the pandemic.
The airline said it could see a gradual recovery ahead for flights in the second half of its financial year, which ends June 30, 2022.
Domestic flights were expected to be operating at 90-100 percent of pre-pandemic capacity by June 30 this year, Qantas said.
But international flights were still expected to be running at less than half of pre-pandemic capacity by the same time.
Qantas said its underlying loss — a closely watched measure of its performance — grew to Aus$1.28 billion in the six months to December 31 from a loss of Aus$1.01 billion a year earlier.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said an outbreak of the Delta variant in July 2021 cut most Australians off from each other for months, just as travel had been starting to return to normal.
“And then, just as demand was building again for the Christmas holidays, the Omicron variant emerged, putting another dent in consumer confidence,” Joyce said.
“In all honesty, it’s been a real rollercoaster.”
Qantas said revenue grew 32 percent year-on-year to Aus$3.07 billion in the six months to December 31.
But spending on staff and aircraft rose in the period.
Qantas’ net loss narrowed to Aus$456 million from more than Aus$1.0 billion a year earlier, but this was largely thanks to a sale of surplus land in Sydney. (AFP)