The carrier saw underlying pre-tax profit rise 14% to £907 million in 2017/18, with its mainline international division increasing earnings by 7% to £226 million despite a 4% increase in capacity.
“These numbers show a company that’s delivering across the board,” said chief executive Alan Joyce. “This record result comes despite higher oil prices. We’re facing another increase to our fuel bill for FY19 and we’re confident that we will substantially recover this through a range of capacity, revenue and cost efficiency measures, in addition to our hedging programme,” he added.
Joyce told Australian media that the passenger load factor on the non-stop Heathrow-Perth flight, which began in March, was 92%, with premium classes an average 94% full. Qantas’s average load across its international network is 84%.
Joyce said that figures issued by the UK CAA, which stated that flights were only 78% full, did not count those passengers continuing on the same aircraft to Melbourne or switching flights at Perth to another Australia destination.
Qantas is working on non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York, with 2022 pencilled in for a launch date. Airbus and Boeing are designing bespoke long-range aircraft for these routes.
Other investment in the coming year will include an expanded and renovated First Lounge at Sydney plus upgrades to lounges at Auckland, Tokyo Narita and Brisbane.