Qantas has issued guidance that it expects its first half profit for the 2009/2010 financial year to come in between $50 and $150 million, and has announced that it is restoring domestic capacity on a number of routes to meet growing demand.
Qantas made the guidance in reporting its November operating statistics to the Australian Securities Exchange. However, the airline did also note that a number of challenging conditions remained for the airline, including a still uncertain economic outlook, high levels of capacity and volatility in fuel prices and exchange rates.
Nevertheless, the airline has announced that effective March 29 that it will add more than 340,000 seats to the domestic market over the next 12 months as a result of improving demand. “We are seeing some improvements in domestic demand and so the time is right to begin restoring capacity to ensure we are well place to meet that demand,” said CEO Alan Joyce.
“The changes will see the addition of a total 19 return services across selected routes, while capacity will be restored on others by upgrading from Boeing 737 to larger Boeing 767 aircraft.”
During November, the Qantas Group (comprising all Qantas, Jetstar and QantasLink services) recorded a 9.7 per cent increase in passenger volumes, with revenue passenger kilometres increasing by three per cent, while capacity decreased by two per cent. As a result, overall revenue load factor by four percentage points to 82.3 per cent.
Load factors improved across all operations, but passenger numbers on Qantas international services were down by 22.6 per cent. However, a 14 per cent reduction in capacity saw load factor rise to 83 per cent on those services.
For an anlaysis of Qantas’s profit forecast, read Stephen Bartholomeusz’s article on the Business Spectator website here.