Australian national carrier Qantas has released record H1 2018 results, posting a pre-tax profit of $976mn, its highest ever figure for a half financial year.
This 15% increase derives from revenues of $8.66bn and comes in spite of challenges relating to fuel price rises and heightening competition for international custom.
Indeed, it was domestic flights and budget airline Jetstar which stood out as top performers. Domestic flights returned $447mn in revenues, up 20%, while Jetstar recorded earnings of $318mn, an increase of 16% versus H1 2017.
In his CEO’s address, Qantas boss Alan Joyce said: “We met – or exceeded – all targets of our financial framework. Debt is towards the bottom of our target range. Every division is returning more than its cost of capital. We generated a record amount of operating cash flow and free cash flow was almost three times higher than the previous first half.
“And we delivered for customers – launching our new Dreamliner, which is getting rave reviews; opening new lounges here and overseas; and starting new routes.”
Earlier this year, Qantas also operated the first biofueled flight from Los Angeles into Melbourne.
Another success has been the company’s loyalty programme, which saw revenues jump 2% to $184mn.
Joyce concluded in his statement: “Looking ahead, we’re broadly positive about trading conditions and the prospects for consumer demand. After several years of turning this business around, Qantas now has a lot of momentum behind it.”