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QANTAS: Back to international flying in December despite massive loss

QANTAS: Back to international flying in December despite massive loss

Qantas has recorded an AU$2.35 billion loss for the last financial year. More than most forecasters including Morningstar expected. They had been expecting something closer to AU$2.16 billion. This sounds even worse if you add it to the loss from the year before, making a total of over AU$5 billion.

Return to international travel

What’s even more interesting is that Qantas is predicting it will get back to travelling to international destinations in low-risk countries, probably sooner than some Australian states will fully open their borders to other states. I’m looking at you Queensland, Western Australia and my state of birth, South Australia.

“The prospect of flying overseas might feel a long way off, especially with New South Wales and Victoria in lockdown, but the current pace of the vaccine rollout means we should have a lot more freedom in a few months’ time.”

Alan Joyce Qantas Group CEO
a street with buildings and people
Hong Kong

Here’s a timeline of what Qantas is planning:

  • mid-December 2021 – flights to low-risk destination – probably Singapore, USA, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada on Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A330s and 737s to Fiji.
  • mid-December 2021- Flights between Australia and New Zealand – assuming 2-way bubble resumes
  • February 2022 – Hong Kong
  • April 2022 – countries with lower vaccine rates: Bali, Jakarta, Manila and Johannesburg
  • April 2022 – Qantas and Jestar international networks other destinations to be rolled out
  • mid-2022 – 5 x A380s, with all new-interiors, back a year ahead of schedule for flights to London and Los Angeles
  • mid-2022 to mid-2023 – Qantas to take delivery of 3 x 787-9s
  • 2nd half 2021 – Jetstar to take delivery of its first three Airbus A321neo LR aircraft
a room with white chairs and tables
Qantas Changi Lounge

Darwin Transit stop

Qantas is investigating using Darwin as a transit point, a wise move given that Perth shuts its borders at the mere sound of the COVID-19 virus waking up! Darwin has been Qantas’ main entry for repatriation flights.

Airbus A330’s to go further

Qantas will extend the range of its Airbus A330-200 aircraft to operate some trans-Pacific routes such as Brisbane-Los Angeles and Brisbane-San Francisco. Airbus is apparently already working on the technical changes to the aircraft to enable this range.

Federal Phase plan dependent

Of course, this whole rollout will depend on how well Australia moves to vaccinations levels around 80%, and contains the current outbreaks, in line with the Federal Governments 4 phase plan.

a room with a large window
Qantas First Lounge, Sydney

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

I am lusting after any opportunity to get back on a big silver bird and leave Australian shores, but I have a feeling that this outlook by Qantas might be a tad optimistic.

On the other hand, Joyce is a numbers man, and I’m sure they have modelled every possibility before placing their casino chips on this option.

Like Agent Muldar, I want to believe.

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