Impact Publications : Aircargo_235
AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • FEBRUARY-MARCH 2015 • Page 13 Air freight strong performer in solid Qantas turnaround AUSTRALIAN airline Qantas reported an Underlying Profit Before Tax of A$367 million and a Statutory Profit After Tax of A$206 million for the six months ended 31 December 2014. This Underlying Profit Before Tax is Qantas’ best first-half performance since 2010 and an improvement of A$619 million on the same period last year. The Group achieved a 4.8 per cent reduction in compara- ble unit cost and a 2.1 per cent increase in revenue to A$8.1 billion, driven by progress in recovering yields and loads in a stabilising environment. The Group is now targeting A$675 million in financial year 2015, up from the previous target of A$600 million. Qantas International was profitable for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, with underlying EBIT of A$59 million representing a turnaround of A$321 million on the prior correspond- ing period. The business is expected to achieve its target – announced in 2011 – of a return to profit in financial year 2015. In the domestic market, Qantas and Jetstar reported combined Underlying EBIT of close to A$300 million. Alan Joyce, chief executive Qantas, said the result showed that the Group was executing the right plan with disci- pline and speed. The Group’s cash flow improved rapidly compared with the same peri- od last year, with cash generated from operations up 44.8 per cent to A$1 billion. Positive net free cash flow was A$194 million. Liquidity remains strong at A$3.6 billion, comprising A$2.9 billion in cash and A$720 million in undrawn facilities. Approximately one third of the Group’s fleet of aircraft is debt-free and, after a period of extensive fleet renewal, the Group’s average scheduled passenger aircraft age is 7.2 years – the youngest in more than two decades. Planned capital expenditure is un- changed at A$900 million for both finan- cial year 2015 and financial year 2016. Qantas Domestic Qantas Domestic reported underlying EBIT of A$227 million, an improvement of A$170 million compared with the same period in financial year 2014. Qantas international Qantas International reported underly- ing EBIT of A$59 million, a turnaround of A$321 million compared with the same period last year. A significant increase in fleet utili- sation enabled Qantas International to add seasonal or permanent capacity to destinations including Los Angeles, Dallas/ Fort Worth, Vancouver, Santiago, Honolulu and Auckland. Qantas freight Qantas Freight reported underlying EBIT of A$54 million, an improvement of A$43 million and its best first-half result since 2006. International cargo markets continued to recover, accounting for A$44 million of underlying EBIT, with the China-US and US-Australia markets performing well. The domestic market was more chal- lenging, in line with the mixed economic environment. outlook The outlook for the Group’s operating environment in the second half of finan- cial year 2015 has improved: - Overall demand is stable, while de- mand is mixed in the Australian domestic market; - Domestic and international market capacity is moderating; and - Yield and load factors have stabilised and are in the early stages of recovery. Subject to external factors, the Group’s operating expectations are as follows: - Qantas Group capacity will increase by 1.5 to 2 per cent in the second half of financial year 2015 compared with the second half of financial year 2014; - All operating segments are expect- ed to be profitable in financial year 2015. No Group profit guidance was pro- vided due to the high degree of volatil- ity and uncertainty in global economic conditions, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates. Virgin adds to Fiji services BRISBANE-based Virgin Australia will deploy its wide body A330-200 aircraft internationally for the first time, on the Sydney-Nadi, Fiji route. The carrier will operate the service on Saturdays in response to increased demand. The A330s are currently scheduled to operate on Saturdays during the fol- lowing periods: 04 April 2015 – 18 April 2015; 20 June 2015 – 24 October 2015 and select days during the Christmas and New Year period. The A330 will also be introduced be- tween Sydney and Melbourne during select morning weekday peak periods. Virgin Australia operates up to 22 flights per week between Nadi, Fiji and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.