QANTAS AGM: Huge losses, but bright future
Qantas is holding its AGM today. It reports a massive loss of income due to COVID-19 but presents a bright face to shareholders on the future with Project Winton – the renewal of its domestic fleet over the next 10 years, with the choice of aircraft to be made before the end of 2021, and Project Sunrise and its super long-haul A350’s will now get back on track.
Below are a few choice quotes from the CEO, Alan Joyce, and Chairman Richard Goyder.
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International borders were closed for all of FY21 and there were only about 30 days where we didn’t face some kind of domestic travel restriction.
That meant total passenger numbers were down by over 70 per cent compared with pre-COVID.
The financial impact of this has been clear. In August, we posted a statutory loss before tax of $2.35 billion for the 2021 financial year – which follows a loss of $2.7 billion the year before.Chairman Richard Goyder
In total, it’s likely COVID will have cost us more than $20 billion in revenue by the end of this calendar year. It’s a staggering number – and it’s remarkable that the business has managed to deal with this as well as it has.Chairman Richard Goyder
On the Future
A key priority is sustainability and accelerating our emissions reduction.
In 2019, the Qantas Group was only the second airline in the world to commit to a net zero emissions target by 2050.Chairman Richard Goyder
Lets hope that’s not just greenwashing.
We’re now looking at renewal of our domestic fleet and have launched Project Winton. It’s named after our birthplace – the town in outback Queensland – because this is a foundational decision for Qantas domestic.
We’re looking at an order of over 100 aircraft, delivered over 10 years from the end of 2023 onwards.
Discussions with Airbus, Boeing and Embraer are well advanced, and we expect to decide on preferred aircraft by the end of this calendar year.Chairman Richard Goyder
As we announced recently, all of our onshore employees are able to return to work by early December.
Combined with operational and corporate employees already working, all 22,000 employees are expected to be back working, which wasn’t expected to happen until June next year.
This is fantastic, particularly for those who have been stood down since the very start of the pandemic and thought it could be another year before they would be flying again.CEO, Alan Joyce
… and Project Sunrise
There aren’t many companies that have been hit by this pandemic as hard as Qantas. In years to come, we’ll look at this as a very difficult – but very significant – part of our long history. Something we endured. That we recovered from. And that ultimately made the national carrier better and more resilient.
And that means we have a lot to look forward to, beyond the simple pleasure of flying again. Renewing our domestic fleet with Project Winton. Finally solving the tyranny of distance with Project Sunrise and more non-stop flights. And using technology to make meaningful inroads to cutting emissions.CEO, Alan Joyce
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
The AGM shows some good timing. International and domestic flying is back in operation and staff are about to be nearly all back to work. The horizon is rosy. Also please note that I hold shares in Qantas, and in most Australian airlines.
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