Qantas updates long-term strategy

Airline announces it plans to create climate fund

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Los,Angeles,,California,,Usa,-,14,February,2019:,Qantas,Airways
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SeoulThe Qantas Group has released detail on its strategy through to 2030, as the national carrier moves from recovery to renewal and growth. At its first Investor Strategy Day since the COVID pandemic, members of the Group’s Management Committee outlined long-term plans across key categories of customer experience, sustainability and its people.

Download the Qantas strategy document here.

The Group also disclosed plans for maintaining FY24 margin targets across its flying businesses and announced new earning targets through to FY30 for Qantas Loyalty and Project Sunrise.

Key highlights include:

CUSTOMER

  • Detail on the ‘right aircraft, right route’ approach that underpins the current network and supports new next-generation fleet arriving from this year onwards (A220, B787 and A320-family). With these aircraft come new routes, more comfortable cabins, less noise and less carbon emissions.
  • Plans for an overhauled Qantas app, launching towards the end of 2023, that will give customers more control over their bookings, introduction of baggage tracking and better integration of Qantas Loyalty.
  • Changes to Qantas’ boarding process from October 2023 to improve on-time performance and to better recognise tiered Frequent Flyers, in response to customer feedback.
  • Plans to significantly expand the current range of redemption options for Frequent Flyers.
  • Continued investment in low fares, particularly by Jetstar, with around 10 million fares[1] under $100 offered this calendar year and 5 million reward seats via Qantas Loyalty.

SUSTAINABILITY

  • Launching a $400 million Climate Fund – the largest of its type for any airline – to accelerate progress towards the Group’s sustainability targets. This includes a further $110 million investment in addition to the $290 million[2] already committed. The fund will focus on stimulating production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), high integrity offsets that deliver dividends for nature and carbon removal technology, as well as technologies that deliver on efficiency and waste reduction targets.
  • Calling for the Australian Government to introduce a SAF blending mandate, similar to steps taken in other jurisdictions including the UK, Europe, US and Japan[3] to help kickstart local production.

PEOPLE

  • Sharing benefits of recovery with all employees – including ~$11,500 in bonuses in FY23-24 plus ongoing improvement to staff travel benefits.
  • Plans to grow by creating up to 8,500 operational roles in Australia by 2033 to support new aircraft, additional flying.
  • Training and promotional opportunities unlocked by fleet growth, including via Pilot Academy and Engineering Academy. The Group will deliver around 2 million training hours this year alone.
  • Restoring ‘employer of choice’ status as the industry recovers. Over 160,000 applications received for 7,000 jobs across the Group; attrition rates have declined from a peak of 18 per cent in December 2021 to an average of 5 per cent across the group (to as low as 2 per cent for pilots).

FINANCIAL

  • Through cost and revenue improvements, sustain margins of 18 per cent for Qantas Domestic, 15 per cent for Jetstar Domestic from FY24 onwards.
  • Qantas International margins to grow from ~5 per cent pre-COVID to more than 8 per cent in FY24, and up to 10-12 per cent with Project Sunrise and evolution of freight.
  • Through structural changes to eCommerce market and Qantas Freight business, targeting $250m in annual earnings contribution from FY30 onwards[4] compared with FY19.
  • Introduction of A350 growth aircraft and Project Sunrise flying expected to deliver significant incremental earnings increase, reaching an estimated $400+ million EBIT per annum in first full year of having all 12 aircraft in service.
  • Qantas Loyalty to reach its FY24 EBIT target of $500m-$600m, increasing to $800m-$1,000m by FY30. Key profit drivers will be continued expansion into hotels and holidays, more partnerships including ‘points burn’ opportunities with major retailers, diversification in financial services and growth of the existing Qantas Business Rewards program for SMEs.
  • Targeting $300m p.a. in ongoing transformation, driven largely by new technology enabling better efficiency. This includes fleet renewal, better disruption management, and schedule and workforce planning.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “This is a structurally different business than it was before COVID, operating in markets that have also changed. We’re very well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that creates and the detail we’ve released today shows our strategy to do it. New technology is central to our plan and the next-generation aircraft that have started arriving will transform our network over the next few years. We’ll be able to serve our customers better, reduce our cost base through lower running costs and carve out some new competitive advantages. Our revenue projections and track record for ongoing transformation show we can invest heavily in people and technology at the same time as generating strong returns for shareholders. That’s exactly the kind of national carrier we want to be.”

Group CFO and CEO-designate, Vanessa Hudson, said: “We’ve been clear on the significant level of investment in the pipeline and today we’ve given some detail on the returns we expect from it. We’re confident in reaching our FY24 margin targets and we’ve set some ambitious but achievable earnings goals beyond that, because we think ambition is key to long-term performance. All of the extra activity we have planned has to be underpinned by a focus on sustainability, particularly decarbonisation. We’re determined to be a leader in this space and that’s supported by the new commitments we’ve made today, as well as calling for more action industry-wide in the form of a sustainable aviation fuel mandate. Our long-term focus remains delivering for customers, employees and shareholders, and making sure we have a strong business that generates strong returns is the best way to enable that.”

Qantas to set up climate fund
The Qantas Group will establish an A$400 million climate fund to provide direct investments in sustainability projects and technologies, as the airline works towards its emissions reduction targets. The Qantas Climate Fund, announced as part of the Group’s Investor Strategy Day, will be the largest aviation fund of its kind in the world.

The fund includes the ~AUD$290 million partnership established last year between Qantas and Airbus to accelerate a domestic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia and an additional AUD$110 million from Qantas for other environmental projects such as high-integrity carbon offsets, offshore SAF investments, and operational efficiency technologies.

The fund will target direct investment in technologies and projects, investment in managed sustainability funds that align closely to the airline’s targets, and research and development partnerships. The airline has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2030 (based on 2019 levels) and 10 per cent use of SAF in the Group’s fuel mix by 2030 as it moves towards net zero emissions by 2050. The airline is calling for expressions of interest from industry and businesses seeking funding.

Qantas Group Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Parker said “Managing climate change is now built into how we do business and is a key part of our strategy through to 2030 and beyond. We have already made progress towards our interim climate targets with sustainable aviation fuel powering our flights out of London, more fuel-efficient aircraft arriving every month and a mature carbon offset program. We need to turbocharge these efforts if we are to cut our carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2030 and have net zero emissions by 2050.


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