10 November 2021, Virtual
London, UK - November 2021
London, UK - December 2021
Qatar Airways has announced a net loss of QAR14.9 billion (US$4.1 billion) for
the financial year to 31 March 2021, double the loss incurred in the previous year.
said the loss was largely down to a decision to ground its ten-strong Airbus
A380 fleet during the pandemic. In its annual report, CEO Akbar Al Baker said, “Due
to Covid-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline took the decision to ground
its fleet of A380 aircraft as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable
to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. With international
travel not predicted to return to pre-Covid-19 levels till 2024, the airline
made the prudent choice to take an impairment on 10 of its Airbus A380
The carrier was one of just a few that maintained substantial
networks during the pandemic flying to key cities such as Amsterdam, Dallas-Fort
Worth, London, Montréal, São Paulo, Singapore, Johannesburg, Sydney and Tokyo –
it even became the largest international carrier globally at one point.
Al Baker said, “Whilst our competitors grounded their
aircraft and closed their routes, we adapted our entire network to respond to
ever-evolving travel restrictions and never stopped flying – fulfilling our
mission of taking stranded passengers home on scheduled and charter flights.
“I am immensely proud that, even at the height of the
pandemic, the Qatar Airways global network never once fell below 33
destinations in an effort to fulfil our commitment to our passengers and
freight customers, which resulted in helping take home more than three million
stranded passengers worldwide in 2020/21 alone.”
As passenger demand fell to 5.8 million during the year -
down from 32.4 million in 2019-20 – the airline cut its workforce from 50,110
to 36,707. Those employees that remained also took a 15 per cent reduction in
salary to help the airline cut costs.
The cost-cutting saw the airline trim its operating loss to QAR1.1
billion (US$288.3 million) - 7 per cent less than in 2019/20.
The large losses have required support from its owner, the government
of Qatar, in the form of an equity injection of US$3 billion. However, the airline said it
did not receive subsidies in the form of salary support, tax relief or grants like other global airlines.