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Qantas delivers record profit, international fleet set to increase

Australia’s Transport Workers’ Union have asked Qantas’ CEO to resign over for “empty promises to frustrated passengers” and “announcing more tactics to silence workers and suppress wages.”

Phil Noble | Reuters

Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas Airways reported a record annual profit on Thursday as demand for air travel continues to boom post-pandemic, with the airline announcing a share buyback and plans to bring more planes to the sky.

The carrier announced it had reached an underlying profit before tax of $2.47 billion Australian dollars ($1.6 billion) for the year that ended June 30, from the previous A$1.86 billion loss a year ago, a statement read. 

The board has also approved A$500 million buyback which will commence in September.

“We’re a lot better than where we were at the start of the year,” CEO Alan Joyce told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday, attributing the profits to its strong standing in Australia’s airline industry due to low cancellation rates and “on time performance.” 

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Demand for domestic and international flights have made steady recovery since the pandemic, and the airline is set to increase its fleet.

Shares of Qantas closed more than 1% higher on Thursday.

New planes, new routes

Qantas also announced Thursday that it has placed a multi-billion dollar order for 12 Airbus 350 and 12 Boeing 787 aircraft as it looks to retire older planes. 

“We have a commitment to over 170 aircrafts over the next decade, and that allows us to renew our domestic and international fleet,” Joyce said.

“Our balance sheet is as strong as it’s been in decades, and our earnings have made a step level with a billion dollars cost out which means we can afford this fleet replacement growth going forward,” he added. 

Qantas CEO says its results are back to 'record levels of profitability'

New flight routes are also in the works, with long-haul direct flights from Sydney to London and New York set to take off in 2025. 

Joyce highlighted that the airline was “very brave” to put in an order for new aircrafts during the pandemic as it now “allows us to do things no other airline in the world” can do. 

Air fares will fall ‘significantly’

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