Qantas reports $2.8bn revenue hit

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas on Thursday reported a $2.8 billion revenue hit for the second half of the 2020 financial year due to the crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to shareholders, the airline posted an $89 million before tax profit for the 12 months ending June 30, 2020, down 91 per cent on the year before, reports Xinhua news agency.

During the first half of the financial year before the pandemic grounded global travel to a halt, Qantas recorded a $553.8 million profit before tax.

“We were on track for another profit above A$1 billion ($718 million) when this crisis struck,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.

“The fact that we still delivered a full year underlying profit shows how quickly we adjusted when revenue collapsed.”

The company attributed the “minimised” financial impact to swiftly implemented cost cutting measures, and placing much of the flying business into a form of hibernation, reporting that from April 2020 to the end of June, company revenue fell 82 per cent while cash costs were reduced by 75 per cent.

“The impact of Covid-19 on all airlines is clear. It’s devastating and it will be a question of survival for many,” Joyce said.

“What makes Qantas different is that we entered this crisis with a strong balance sheet and we moved fast to put ourselves in a good position to wait for the recovery.”