AviationLeisure, business travel both surge despite inflation, interest rates.

Qantas: Travel demand ‘way beyond’ best expectations

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Alan Joyce: “People are not just flying again – they’ve brought a level of enthusiasm for travel that was beyond our best projections.”
Alan Joyce: “People are not just flying again – they’ve brought a level of enthusiasm for travel that was beyond our best projections.”

After the turmoil of the Covid pandemic, Qantas says it is back on track and “getting back to its best”.

Chief executive Alan Joyce, announcing the airline group’s full-year 2022 results, said, “The fact we’ve been able to steer through this is remarkable. And now that we are through it, things are improving even faster than we expected.

“People are not just flying again – they’ve brought a level of enthusiasm for travel that was beyond our best projections.”

Joyce revealed that revenue intakes for leisure travel were around 125% of pre-Covid levels.

“For business travel, it’s 90% – and that’s despite the fact many people are still working from home during the current Covid and flu spike.

“Forward bookings are extremely strong across our airlines and consumer research shows that travel is one category people want to keep spending on, even as inflation and interest rates see them pull back elsewhere.”

Joyce said the pandemic had tested everyone – and aviation had been “sorely tested”.

The Qantas group had an underlying loss before tax of almost A$1.9 billion (US$1.3bn)  bringing total losses since the start of the pandemic to more than A$7 billion and taking lost revenue to more than A$25 billion.

“To put that in perspective, on a statutory basis, Covid cost us more money in the past three years than we made in the five years before that,” Joyce said.

Qantas last week issued an apology to its frequent flyers for recent flight cancellations, lost baggage and service delays, offering them compensation in the way of flight credits and lounge access. 

“We’re the first to admit we haven’t gotten everything right lately. But – with the help of our people – we are getting back to our best. And – given what we have in the pipeline – it will get even better from there,” Joyce said.

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