Economic Insider

Qantas: Post-COVID profits soar

Image Commercially Licensed From: DepositPhotos
Image Commercially Licensed From: DepositPhotos

Qantas said that it made more than A$1.4 billion in profits in the first half of the year. From last year, this is a big change.

During the pandemic, Australia put in place strict travel rules, which cost the company more than A$7 billion.

Last year, there were more problems, like canceled flights, lost luggage, and people being late.

The airline said its profits went up because more people wanted to fly, ticket prices went up, and costs were cut.

As travel restrictions were lifted because of the pandemic, CEO Alan Joyce said that sales had tripled in the six months leading up to the end of December, reaching almost A$10 billion.

The A$1.4bn (£793m; $954m) profit is a big change from the A$456m loss that happened during the same time last year.

Mr. Joyce said, “This is a big change from our big losses a year ago.”

As a result of the pandemic, many countries closed their borders, and Australia made some of the strictest travel rules in the world.

Most non-Australians could only stay in the country for up to 18 months, and strict limits on who could come in meant that thousands of Australians were stuck in other countries.

Qantas said in August 2020 that it would cut tens of thousands of jobs and outsource 2,000 ground staff jobs to reduce losses.

But that led to a court case that cost a lot of money and the need for more staff.

Last year, when the restrictions were lifted, the shortages caused a lot of trouble at Australian airports. Passengers had to wait in long lines to check-in, and senior executives were called in to help.

As anger grew, it was said that eggs and toilet paper had been thrown at Mr. Joyce’s A$19 million waterfront home in August.

After a series of technical problems with its planes, while they were in the air in January, the airline pushed back against claims that the problems were widespread.

Even with these problems, said that Qantas was the safest airline in the world.

Mr. Joyce said on Thursday that the airline was “reinvesting” in its customers and that prices would start to go down as supply chain and resource problems were fixed.

But Qantas also said prices would be “significantly” higher than in 2019.

Qantas kickstarted long-distance flights

As Qantas prepares to start its ultra-long-haul “Project Sunrise” flights in 2025, the airline is giving a sneak peek of what front-seat passengers will see and do on the 19-hour record-breaking trips.

Thursday, the airline showed prototypes of the first-class and business-class cabins for the 12 Airbus A350s that will be used for direct flights between Australia, New York, and London.

Because people spend so much time in the air, designers work hard to make them more comfortable.

The airline brought in a team of scientists from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney to work with designers and aviation experts. There were sleep researchers on this team.

Most planes have 300 or more seats, but the Project Sunrise A350s will only have 238 seats. This is done to give people more room.

The first-class seats, called First Suites, will have an extra-wide fixed bed, a 22-inch wide recliner lounge chair, a full-length wardrobe, a folding dining table big enough for two, and a 32-inch ultra-high definition TV.

Some of the world’s longest flights

During World War II, secret flights from Perth to Sri Lanka on the way to London were called “Project Sunrise.” They were dangerous and lasted so long that two sunrises came and went.

In 2019, Qantas made three test trips to prepare for the launch of Project Sunrise.

In the weeks before and after these flights, the pilots wore brainwave monitors and had their urine tested to check how much of a hormone called melatonin they had in their bodies. Melatonin controls how often you sleep.

Scientists could examine how lighting, food and drink, movement, sleep patterns, and in-flight entertainment affect people’s “health, well-being, and body clock” in the main cabin.

This information was given to Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which needs proof that pilots, cabin crew, and passengers can handle being in the air for up to 22 hours straight without a break.

One of the test flights, QF7879, was the world’s longest commercial passenger flight in terms of distance (about 11,060 miles or 17,800 kilometers) and time in the air (19 hours and 19 minutes).

People got to see two sunrises in line with the project’s name.

The Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to New York City (Singapore-JFK) is the longest scheduled passenger flight in the world. It is 9,536.5 miles long.

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Due to the headwind, it takes 18 hours and 5 minutes to fly from Singapore to JFK, but 18 hours and 40 minutes to fly from JFK to Singapore.