Qantas announces $1.1bn loss amid Omicron Covid-19 fears – World News

Qantas announces $1.1bn loss amid Omicron Covid-19 fears

Qantas has announced an eye-watering loss as the Omicron Covid-19 variant strikes back fears in the struggling aviation and travel industries.

Qantas has indicated a loss of $1.1bn for the first six months of the fiscal year.

The airline issued a market update on Thursday morning, outlining “significant losses” for the half of December due to the extended COVID-19 lockdown across the country.

The recent drop in flight bookings with the emergence of the Omicron variant also contributed to the results.

“This has been one of the worst phases of the entire pandemic, with most state borders closed and most Australians in lockdown,” Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in the statement.

The company noted a “significant drop in booking speeds due to Omicron Edition news and additional quarantine restrictions imposed” regarding international travel.

Planning its recovery, Qantas announced that it has placed an order for 134 new Airbus jets over the next 10 years, which it claims will be the largest aircraft order in Australian history.

Qantas said that Mascot, near Sydney Airport, recently announced an increase in bookings following the $804m prime land and opening dates of Australia’s domestic and international borders, bringing down the net debt to around $$8 billion by the end of December. Helped reduce that to 5.65bn.

The airline also said that liquidity levels “will remain strong” and were estimated to be around $4.2bn by the end of the current half.

This includes $2.6bn of cash and $1.6bn of undisclosed credit facilities.

“While the recent increase in travel activity has partially offset the physical impact from the months of lockdown, the group still anticipates a significant loss in the first half,” Qantas said.

“Assuming no further lockdowns or significant travel restrictions, the group expects losses in the range of $1.1bn for the first half of the fiscal year.”

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