Qantas reports vast improvement in recent trading conditions but will post a “substantial” loss for fiscal year
Although it expected to report a "substantial" statutory loss for its fiscal year, as the international network stays largely grounded, domestic business for the group had surged in recent weeks, the company said. Read More » The financial guidance was based on domestic borders staying open and no expansion of international travel until at least June 30, 2021, except for flights to New Zealand.
Combined domestic capacity for Qantas and Jetstar is forecast to reach "nearly" 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels by March 31, 2021, compared with about 68% at the end of December, the airline group said in a regulatory filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this week.
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, repeated his forecasts of recent days that the international market would take years to recover.
Increased domestic flying increases staff working at the group to 11,500 in December and 14,000 by the end of March, compared with about 9,000 in October. Approximately 13,500 staff remains stood down.
The group forecast a second consecutive full-year statutory loss after it reported a net loss of A$2 billion for 2019-2020, but said it should be close to breakeven in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) level for the six months to December 31 and be net free cash flow positive (excluding redundancies) in the second half.
“We’re optimistic about the recovery, but we’re also cautious given the various unknowns," Joyce said.
"At November 30, Qantas had A$3.6 billion in available liquidity – A$2.6 billion in cash and A$1 billion in an undrawn revolving credit facility – with another A$500 million to be added to the facility by the end of this month.