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Qantas shares end 2022 up a fifth after year to forget

written by Adam Thorn | December 21, 2022

Victor Pody shot this Qantas 787-9, VH-ZNB

Qantas shares have all but ended the year up a fifth on their price at the start of 2022, with stock on Wednesday trading at $6.08.

However, their performance has been volatile, with prices in July dipping as low as $4.24 as the airline battled bad publicity caused by its worst-ever performance. That’s still up on its COVID low of just over $2 in March 2020 but some way off its 2019 high of more than $7.

In 2022, Qantas faced a string of problems, including huge delays at Easter, hours-long call wait times, and even a revelation that the cabin crew of a Qantas A330 were made to sleep across seats in economy.

It followed the Federal Court last year ruling that the Flying Kangaroo was wrong to outsource 2,000 ground handling roles and subsequently rejecting an initial appeal.

Earlier this year, Qantas ranked as the worst airline for cancellations as it battled staff shortages and sickness absences, but last month bounced back to be the top-performing carrier.


The Flying Kangaroo said previously that it turned around its poor performance by investing $200 million to roster additional crew, train new recruits and pay for overtime in contact centres.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said earlier, “It’s clear that maintaining our pre-COVID service levels requires a lot more operational buffer than it used to, especially when you consider the sick leave spikes and supply chain delays that the whole industry is dealing with.

“That means having more crew and more aircraft on standby and adjusting our flying schedule to help make that possible, until we’re confident that extra support is no longer needed.”

Across the industry, the domestic industry peaked at 97 per cent pre-pandemic passenger numbers in June, but it came alongside all-time records for delays being broken that month and in April and July.

Since then, the industry has recruited thousands of extra staff and cut flights to improve the passenger experience.

Qantas believes it’s now operating at 95 per cent of pre-COVID levels for the second quarter of the financial year. That number is likely to be far higher over the Christmas period itself, with the business expecting to carry 8 million passengers during the holidays.

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