Qantas today reported a huge turn around in fortunes announcing an after tax profit of $206 million for the first half of the financial year - an improvement of over $600 million compared to the same half last year.
The airline's struggling international arm rebounded with a reported profit for the first time since 2011. Other areas that performed well include the domestic main line services which contributed more than half of the airline's profits. Qantas said that the strong results from its frequent flyer program, savings from lower fuel prices, the scrapping of the carbon tax and an improved Jetstar performance were all factors in the airline's positive half year results.
Key financial results:
- Underlying Profit Before Tax: $367 million
- Statutory Profit After Tax: $206 million
- Transformation benefits: $374 million
- Comparable unit cost reduction: 4.8 per cent2
- Cash generated from operations: $1 billion
- Positive net free cash flow: $194 million
- Liquidity: $3.6 billion, including $2.9 billion cash
- Earnings per share: 9.2 cents
- No interim dividend
What has changed for passengers?
Qantas has introduced several improvements to the flying roo experience. International economy was the biggest winner with new food service in the main cabin. Short-haul business class to Asia and Hawaii have seen a new cabin introduction and virtual reality entertainment is on trial for first class passengers.
Economy service enhancements
25% larger main meals in economy have been recently introduced on international services. New menu choices include smoky BBQ beef, honey roasted chicken salad and barramundi curry. While the side salad and cheese and crackers have been dropped from the plate, the larger portions seem to be doing the trick. Bread roll and dessert are still included with the signature tea, coffee, hot chocolate or peppermint tea.
Virtual Reality (VR)
In conjunction with Samsung, a trial of virtual reality glasses in the first class lounges and onboard the A380 first class cabin is underway. Passengers are trialling a new way to see the world and if successful a roll out plan will be introduced later in the year.
Trans-Tasman business class
Travelling between Australia and New Zealand and Sydney and Noumea will see a selection of champagne introduced - Jacquart Cuvee Brut Mosaique NV, Champagne Duval-Leroy Brut NV and NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. Business customers will also be given amenity kits designed by Kate Spade and Jack Spade on services between Australia and Auckland departing after 6pm.
Bid Now Upgrades introduced
To be gradually introduced across the Qantas network, invited Frequent Flyers booked in economy and premium economy have an option to upgrade using a combination of money and Qantas Points. Bid Now Upgrades will be allocated after all Classic Upgrade Rewards (which are points-only upgrades) have been processed. The new system ranks below Classic Upgrade Rewards in terms of priority and value, but gives members the flexibility to supplement points with a cash payment.
New ways to spend frequent flyer points
Four department stores, seven fashion retailers and two electronic outfits have been added to the Qantas Online Mall, giving Qantas Frequent Flyers more opportunities to earn and spend their points balance.
Extra Vancouver added
An extended seasonal schedule has been added between Australia and Vancouver, Canada. An extra 13 return services in the June/July northern summer period and 20 return services over the December to late January 2016 northern winter period.
The upcoming Qantas service between Brisbane and Tokyo is set to move from four times a week to daily service in August 2015. The boost in service will represent an increase of 75% or 4,000 seats per week. The flight increase was made possible due to the change in Sydney to Tokyo flights which are moving from busy Narita Airport to the closer in Haneda Airport.
Lounges in Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles have all received an update with new services and features.