Qantas claims that its operations are back to the standards that consumers expect after a challenging few months that included cancellations and grounded planes, and that its financial condition is improving.
Similar to other carriers throughout the world, Qantas experienced workforce shortages during the demand recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in delays and cancellations.
Six of Unit Jetstar’s 11 widebody aircraft were grounded simultaneously in September for a variety of reasons, including lightning strikes, bird strikes, damage from runway debris, and trouble obtaining spare parts.
In a market update on October 13, 2022, Qantas reported that the Jetstar planes were back in operation and that staff member would be receiving pay raises. It also stated that it anticipated returning to profitability in the first half of the current fiscal year.
For the first time since the pandemic, Qantas anticipates an underlying profit before tax for the first half of its current fiscal year of between AUD1.2 billion and AUD1.3 billion ($744-$806 million).
“Since August, we’ve seen a big improvement in our operational performance and an acceleration in our financial performance,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in the statement. “It’s been a really challenging time for the national carrier but today’s announcement shows how far we’ve come.”
The airline announced that it will invest an additional AUD 200 million for the remaining months of FY23 to increase operational dependability, including rostering more personnel and training new hires.
In order to reduce delays and cancellations, 20% of the group’s flight capacity will be held in reserve, according to Qantas, which also claimed to be more conservative with scheduling.
“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,” Joyce explained.
“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.”
Qantas announced it is revising a pay policy that affects almost 20,000 individuals and instituting a salary boost after a two-year wage freeze, which is fantastic news for the staff.
According to a story from last week, Qantas CEO Joyce wanted an update from Airbus on the status of airline deliveries, particularly the A350s ordered for Project Sunrise for nonstop flights between Sydney and London, and New York.
“I think every airline would be after certainty on the time-frames, if they come a month later it doesn’t make much difference, if it’s six months or a year, that can make a big difference,” Joyce told Bloomberg in an interview.