Strong travel demand is accelerating Qantas Group’s recovery from the Covid crisis, enabling Australia’s national carrier and Jetstar to increase the number of flights operated to 77 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Based on forward bookings, current fuel prices and latest assumptions about the second quarter, the group expects underlying profit before tax of between AUS$1.2 billion and $1.3 billion for the first half of FY23.

This follows five consecutive halves of heavy losses due to the pandemic.

Domestic travel

Domestic travel demand remains strong across all categories. Revenue intakes for business purposes are over 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels and leisure intakes have further strengthened to over 130 per cent.

The broader operating environment remains complex, the carrier said, with high fuel prices and high inflation, as well as higher interest rates impacting on consumer confidence.

However, it added: “Robust demand indicates that people are prioritising spending on travel above other categories, which supports the group’s ability to fully recover higher fuel costs through fares.”

International travel

International capacity is now expected to increase from 61 per cent of pre-Covid levels in first half of FY23 to 77 per cent in the second half.

This is helped by the ability to return additional A380s from storage and maintenance, as well as the delivery of three new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for Qantas International and additional Airbus A321LRs for Jetstar, also part of the Qantas Group.
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