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Qatar Airways reports record revenues, bolstered by FIFA World Cup

Qatar Airways logo is seen on a plane model.

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Qatar Airways announced record annual revenue Thursday after the company’s finances were bolstered by the FIFA World Cup, which was hosted in Qatar last year.

Qatar Airways Group reported that passenger revenue was up 100% during its fiscal year 2022/23, with overall revenue up to 76.3 billion Qatari riyals ($21 billion).

A total of 31.7 million passengers flew with Qatar’s flagship carrier in the last year, which was up 71% compared to the previous year.

The World Cup provided a considerable boost to Qatar’s passenger figures, with the airline transporting 1.4 million passengers to the event. The carrier was the official airline of the soccer tournament.

The airline attributed the results to a “successful strategy during an extraordinary year,” according to a press release by the airline.

The results are in lockstep with the global resurgence airlines are seeing as the post-pandemic recovery is in full swing following a turbulent few years for the sector. Emirates and Ryanair announced bumper profits in May, while easyJet and British Airways both raised their profit expectations for the upcoming year.

Qatar Airways received a $1.95 billion government bailout in September 2020 after the state-owned group reported annual losses of more than 50% of its share capital. The carrier made heavy job cuts and delayed new aircraft as the Covid-19 pandemic ground air travel to a halt.

Investors will be looking to see how the airline fares in the coming year, particularly with the launch of new rival Riyadh Air, which debuted in March.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said that his airline “love[s] competition,” when he spoke to CNBC in May.

“We will compete like we have been competing all these years,” he said at the Arabian Travel Market conference in Dubai.

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