April 16, 2024

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Covid: Qantas says pandemic ‘existential crisis’ is over

The national carriers of Australia and New Zealand assert that the worst of the coronavirus epidemic is now behind them despite posting annual losses for the third consecutive year.

Demand is increasing now that the pandemic’s “existential crisis” is gone, according to Qantas.

According to Air New Zealand, bookings and revenues have improved significantly since March.

In order to combat pandemics, both countries have implemented some of the strictest travel restrictions.

In a statement released on Thursday, Qantas stated that its underlying loss before tax had increased from the prior year to A$1.866bn ($1.3bn; £1.1bn) in the year ending in June.

The business said that its net debt was at a better-than-anticipated A$3.94 billion.

“The speed and scale of that turnaround has been amazing,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

Mr. Joyce stated, “Our staff has done a terrific job during the restart and our clients have been incredibly patient. Over the past three months, the entire industry has been struggling with sick leave and labour shortages.”

In February, Australia once again allowed visitors from abroad. That signalled a conclusion after almost two years.

As borders reopened, Qantas struggled to resume its services, much like the majority of the world’s airlines.

To address a severe labour shortage, it requested senior executives to work as baggage handlers at the airports in Sydney and Melbourne.

Air New Zealand announced that its pre-tax losses had increased to NZ$725 million ($449.8 million; £380.7 million) in the year ending in June.

However, throughout the same time period, operating revenue increased by 9% to NZ$2.7 billion.

Air New Zealand’s CEO, Greg Foran, announced that the firm was in the “revive” phase of its COVID-19 turnaround.

When travel restrictions started to loosen in March, “the company had a very good comeback in bookings and revenues,” Mr. Foran continued.

He stated, “With strong booking levels in July and August, this tendency persists.

This month, New Zealand fully reopened its borders to visitors for the first time since March 2020.