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Qantas confirms enormous $2.5bn full year profit

written by Adam Thorn | August 24, 2023

Victor Pody shot Qantas’ latest 787-9 VH-ZNL arriving at Melbourne in May.

Qantas has capped one of the most lucrative years in its history by announcing a huge profit before tax of $2.465 billion for the last financial year.

It marks an extraordinary turnaround from FY22’s underlying loss before tax of $1.86 billion, caused by COVID lockdowns and the outbreak of Omicron.

The Flying Kangaroo said the bumper profits would help fund the surprise purchase of 12 new 787 Dreamliners and 12 Airbus A350s, also announced on Thursday morning.

Outgoing CEO Alan Joyce said the result marked the airline’s first full-year profit since 2019.

“Combined across Qantas, Jetstar and Qantas Loyalty, we delivered an underlying profit before tax of just under $2.5 billion and a statutory profit after tax of over $1.7 billion,” he said.


“It’s a world away from the $7 billion in statutory losses we racked up during COVID.

“And a key difference between this result and our last profit is the $1 billion in restructuring that is formally ‘complete’ today.

“This is a remarkable turnaround, three years in the making. And it’s been hard.

“From being 11 weeks shy of insolvency, to a challenging return to flying across the industry, to finally getting back to leading domestic operational performance.

“It’s an absolute credit to the resilience and hard work of our people, the patience and understanding of our customers, and the support of our shareholders.

“Importantly for our customers and people, returning to profit means we can reinvest.

“Last May, we announced plans to renew our narrowbody jet fleet over the next decade, as well as giving the green light to 12 aircraft for Project Sunrise – our non-stop flights from the East Coast to London and New York. We gave a lot of detail on the strategic importance of this at our investor day, a few months ago.

“Today, we’re announcing the final piece of our long-term fleet plan – replacement of our A330s and, ultimately, A380s.

“The board has approved firm orders for 24 new widebody aircraft for Qantas – a mix of Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s. This is another multi-billion investment in the national carrier.

“The first of these new aircraft arrive in FY27 to replace our A330s over several years.”

In total, the new aircraft order will consist of four Boeing 787-9, eight 787-10s and 12 traditional A350-1000s.

It’s also significantly in addition to the previously announced Project Winton and Sunrise orders, which include nine more A321s that Qantas will then convert into freighters; 12 Airbus A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise; and 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 29 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes.

Qantas added it would reward its shareholders with an on-market share buy-back of up to $500 million and its frequent flyers with a gift of up to 5,000 Qantas Points each.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, rival Air New Zealand also announced it was back in the black, posting a profit of $585 million NZD before tax and other significant items for the 2022-23 financial year.

The Kiwi flag carrier attributed the profits to “demand for air travel that exceeded expectations”, with domestic capacity at 94 per cent of pre-COVID levels, its international network restored, and all its aircraft now flying again. The airline saw an operating revenue of $6.3 billion NZD for the year.

This is a turnaround from 2021-22, which saw Air New Zealand post a $725 million NZD loss before other significant items and taxation off the back of $2.7 billion NZD in revenue.

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