We start by saying this is clearly not a standard set of results for the Qantas Group.
It’s been shaped by extraordinary events that have made for the worst trading conditions in our 100-year history.
To put it simply, we’re an airline that can’t really fly to many places – at least for now.
The impact of that is clear. Covid punched a $4bn hole in our revenue and a $1.2bn hole in our underlying profit in what would have otherwise been another very strong result.
I’ll come to the statutory result in a moment but the fact that the group still delivered an underlying profit before tax of $124m despite Covid says a lot about our resilience, and why we have confidence long term.
There are several important factors that supported the underlying result:
• The profit of almost $800m that we made in the first half, which we saw unwind in the second half.
• The immediate action we took to reduce our costs as soon as travel demand collapsed.
• And several bright spots in our portfolio: Qantas Loyalty, Qantas Freight and our charter services for the resources market.
I also want to acknowledge the federal government’s support.
They were very quick to recognise the impact of travel restrictions on aviation – and responded with industry-wide support, plus jobkeeper, which has been a lifeline for our employees.
Obviously, this result would have been very different without border closures – but they have been an important part of the public health response and we greatly appreciate the government’s support.
The industry will need that support while the closures remain in place.