Qatar Airways says net profit hit US$1.54 billion; Airbus says it’s ‘talking’ to Qatar over plane dispute

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(PHOTO: Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways Group, which is hosting this year’s International Air Transport Association annual general meeting, recently reported a record net profit of QAR 5.6 billion (US$1.54 billion) during the fiscal year 2021/22. Overall revenue increased to QAR 52.3 billion (US$14.4 billion), up 78 percent compared to last year and 2 percent higher than the full financial year pre-COVID (2019/20). Passenger revenue increased by 210 percent over the last year, due to the growth of the Qatar Airways network, increase in market share and higher unit revenue, for the second financial year in a row. Qatar Airways carried 18.5 million passengers, an increase of 218 percent over last year.

Qatar Airways Cargo remained the leading player in the world as its revenue experienced an impressive growth of 25 per cent over last year with the growth in cargo capacity (Available Tonne Kilometres) of 25 percent annually.

The group generated strong EBITDA margin of 34 percent at QAR 17.7 billion (US$4.9 billion). EBITDA was higher than the previous year by QAR 11.8 billion (US$3.2 billion) due to streamlined operations across all business areas. These record earnings are the result of decisions made during the pandemic to expand the Qatar Airways’ passenger and cargo networks, with a more accurate forecast of the global market recovery, building further customer and trade loyalty and product excellence combined with strong cost control.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the national carrier grew to more than 140 destinations in 2021/22, opening new routes including Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Almaty, Kazakhstan and Kano and Port Harcourt, Nigeria in addition to resuming flights to key markets across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The company has operated continuously the largest network among all Middle Eastern airlines, as measured by number or destinations as well as weekly flights.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “This year Qatar Airways Group celebrates a quarter of a century of history since its relaunch, whilst maintaining strong performance and growing profitability. Our commitment to providing the greatest choices to our passengers, maintaining the highest levels of safety in the industry and earning trust have made us proudly become the airline of choice for millions of travellers around the world. We have pursued every business opportunity and left no stone unturned as we aimed to meet our targets.”

Airbus says it’s ‘talking’ to Qatar over plane dispute
Airbus is in discussions with Qatar Airways to try to resolve a bitter legal and safety dispute over the A350 passenger jet, the planemaker’s chief executive said on Sunday, according to a report from Reuters. “There’s progress in the sense that we are communicating; we are working with each other,” Guillaume Faury told Reuters on the sidelines of an airlines meeting in Doha. “I think we share the view that a settlement would be a better way forward, but as long as you don’t have an agreement, you have no agreement.” Qatar Airways was not immediately available for comment. The two sides are locked in a London legal battle over the airworthiness of Europe’s newest long-haul jet after damage to its protective outer skin exposed gaps in lightning protection and prompted Qatari authorities to ground more than 20 jets.

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