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Qatar Airways: Operating losses down, earnings up in 2020/21

Qatar Airways: Operating losses down, earnings up in 2020/21
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker
Written by Harry Johnson

Qatar Airways Group made significant progress in its ambition to forge new strategic partnerships with several major airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and China Southern Airlines.

  • 2020/21 financial results reveal a decrease in operating losses compared to the previous financial year.
  • An increase in EBITDA reflects the Group’s strength, resilience and commitment during the most challenging and extraordinary 12 months in its history.
  • A combination of our Qatar Airways Cargo division and the Group’s commercial adaptability have been at the core of this recovery.

Qatar Airways Group has today published its Annual Report for 2020/21, covering a challenging year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing extensive loss of traffic and revenues as part of a pattern seen across the global aviation industry. Despite the difficulties, Qatar Airways Group proves that rising to the challenge is nothing new for the airline and its subsidiaries, projecting the Group’s strength, resilience, and commitment.

Qatar Airways Group reported a net loss of QAR14.9 billion (U.S.$4.1 billion), of which QAR8.4 billion  (U.S.$2.3 billion) is due to a one-time impairment charge related to the grounding of the airline’s Airbus A380 and A330 fleets. Despite the difficulties posed by the ongoing pandemic, the Group’s operating results demonstrated its resilience during the crisis, with the reported operational loss at QAR1.1 billion (U.S.$288.3 million) 7 percent less compared to 2019/20. Furthermore, the Group achieved a significant improvement in EBITDA, which stood at QAR6 billion (U.S.$1.6 billion) compared to QAR5 billion (U.S.$1.4 billion) the previous year.

A combination of our Qatar Airways Cargo division and the Group’s commercial adaptability have been at the core of this recovery. The flexibility and ingenuity of the Group’s commercial strategy played a pivotal role in significantly increasing its market share, enabling the business to expand its focus from its mission of ‘getting people home’ at the height of the pandemic, to playing an industry-leading role in rebuilding passenger confidence in the safety of air travel during the most critically-adverse market conditions in the history of commercial aviation. Whilst, the Group’s freight division, Qatar Airways Cargo, maintained its position as the world’s largest cargo carrier and grew its market share during 2020/21. During the pandemic’s peak, Cargo more than tripled its daily services, operating a record 183 flights in one day during the month of May 2020. 

Cargo has also overseen a 4.6 percent rise in freight tons handled over the previous fiscal year (2019/20), with 2,727,986 tons (chargeable weight) handled in 2020/21. This increase in freight handled, as well as a significant increase in cargo yield, also saw the carrier’s cargo revenues more than double.

Despite enduring one of the most difficult years in the Group’s history, based on strong commercial fundamentals, the airline has rebuilt its network from a low of 33 destinations to more than 140 destinations today. The airline continued to identify new markets, launching nine new destinations – Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Abuja, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; Brisbane, Australia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Luanda, Angola; Lusaka, Zambia; San Francisco and Seattle, U.S.

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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