Business Traveller

Stunning turnaround: Qantas is profitable again

Chuck Thompson, CNNPublished 26th February 2015
Following the worst annual loss in its history, Qantas is back in the black thanks to lower fuel costs and huge cost-cutting measures.
(CNN) — Emerging just a year after perhaps the bleakest financial period in its history, Qantas has rebounded in dramatic fashion.
On Thursday, Australia's national carrier announced an after-tax interim profit of A$206 million (US$161 million) for the second of half of 2014.
The airline group "is now targeting A$675 million of transformation benefits in financial year 2015, up from the previous target of A$600 million," according to a Qantas statement.
The fast turnaround at "The Flying Kangaroo" comes as a surprise.
In August 2014, the airline posted a shocking net loss of A$2.8 billion for the first half of 2014, the worst annual loss in its history.
Job reductions, lower fuel costs help bottom line
"Qantas International (is) profitable for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis," said the airline today in a statement.
"The decisive factor in our best half-year result for four years was our complete focus on the Qantas Transformation program," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in the statement.
"It's clear that without the impact of transformation, we would not be announcing a profit today.
"What sets this transformation apart is that we are reducing costs permanently while at the same time delivering Qantas' best ever fleet, product and service."
Along with lower fuel costs, massive cost-cutting measures have helped put the airline back in the black.
In February 2014, Joyce announced the airline would eliminate 5,000 jobs through 2017 and sell or defer the order of 50 planes from Airbus and Boeing as it tried to realize A$2 billion in savings by 2017.
On Thursday, the airline reported a savings of A$59 million from removal of the carbon tax and A$33 million in lower fuel prices during the second half of 2014.
"We are meeting or exceeding all our targets as we build a sustainable future for Qantas with an emphasis on growing long-term shareholder value," said Joyce.
"Our financial position is significantly stronger because of the actions we've taken, and we are giving Qantas a solid foundation for growth in earnings."