Qatar Airways says losses will reach $ 4.1 billion in a pandemic


Dubai-Qatar Airways, United Arab Emirates, announced on Monday that last year’s revenues fell by more than $ 4 billion as the blockade caused by the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduced the demand for long-distance travel.

The large losses caused by the grounding of Airbus A380 and A330 wide-body jets, primarily by state-owned airlines, highlight the dramatic cost of a pandemic in the industry.

Still, Doha-based airlines reported an increase in pre-tax revenue to $ 1.6 billion compared to the previous year. This cost was significantly reduced as airlines saved jet fuel, reduced salaries by 15% and reduced approximately 13,400 employees. That labor force. The pandemic hit the international route the hardest, hitting the Persian Gulf Super Connector, which essentially lacks the domestic market.

Over the past few months, flagship carriers have been boosted by the end of a long-standing boycott that locked Qatar Airways out of the airspace of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The embargo has forced airlines to take longer routes and consume more jet fuel, increasing costs. For the first time since 2017, energy-rich state airlines have reopened major routes to hubs such as Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh as political conflicts eased in January.

Long-haul carriers praised resilience in the face of rapidly spreading viral variants around the world, saying that $ 288 million in operational risk was down 7% year-on-year. ..

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement, “Commercial activities to meet evolving travel bans while competitors land aircraft and close routes. It adapted the whole thing and never stopped the flight. “

The airline has received a $ 3 billion lifeline from the Qatar government and has confirmed that it will continue to operate due to suffering from virus regulation. Airlines revenues fell from $ 14 billion in the previous year to more than $ 8 billion. The airline has incurred a charge of up to $ 2.3 billion beyond the landing of a wide-body aircraft.

Last year, the number of passengers in the sky was only 5.8 million, down 82% from 32.3 million in the previous year.

Qatar Airways, which operates approximately 250 aircraft from Doha’s recently constructed Hamad International Airport, follows the model of other Gulf airlines by connecting east and west from its location on the Arabian Peninsula. Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, the two largest airlines in the region that rely on profitable long-haul routes, were also confused by the pandemic. We have posted significant losses of billions of dollars over the past year.

For example, Emirates reported a loss of $ 5.5 billion last year and received a $ 3.1 billion cash injection from the Dubai government.

Qatar Airways has mentioned a few signs of recovery as vaccination against the coronavirus is accelerating around the world. Due to the low 33 destinations at the peak of the pandemic, airlines are now flying over 140, expanding into new markets from Seattle, Washington to Brisbane, Australia.

Isabel Debre

Associated Press