Qantas announces bumper profit, 787 orders

Brand new Boeing 787 aircraft will be added to the flying kangaroo’s international fleet from 2017. This is just one piece of good news to come from the Qantas full-year financial results, announced last week. Following consecutive losses and a lengthy restructuring program, Qantas also announced a large profit. It seems that our national airline is back in the black, to the delight of shareholders and passengers alike.

The news that got everyone talking was the confirmation that Qantas will finally acquire Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Four 787s will initially arrive in 2017, with four more the following year. The airline also has “options” to take delivery of more of the aircraft in future, which CEO Alan Joyce says is likely if the airline continues on its trajectory to financial recovery.

There is no word yet on where exactly the 787 aircraft will operate to, but that hasn’t stopped our members from speculating on a number of new routes. Some believe that New York, San Francisco and Vancouver would be likely 787 destinations. Qantas has also flagged the possibility for new international routes that take advantage of the 787’s extended range. Melbourne-Dallas, Sydney-Mexico City, Sydney-Cape Town and even Sydney-Addis Ababa are within the aircraft’s range. The Boeing 787 would also have the range to operate direct flights between Perth and continental Europe, to destinations such as Rome, Moscow and Istanbul. However some believe that the airline’s agreement with Emirates would mean any flights to Europe must stopover in Dubai.

Although Qantas have not yet revealed the exact configuration the 787s will use, it is believed that the aircraft will contain three cabin classes – Business, Premium Economy and Economy. Not yet clear is the density that Qantas will pack seats into the Economy cabin. Jetstar, which already operates a fleet of 787-8 aircraft uses 9-abreast seating, though some premium airlines have opted for enhanced passenger comfort with 8-breast seating. Many of our members are in favour of a more spacious 8-abreast configuration, but acknowledge that narrower seats in economy are more likely.

Having just done a JQ 787 at 9 abreast there is no way you will get me on a QF aircraft at 9 abreast and 17 inch wide seat.

It’s been a number of years since Qantas has posted a profit, so these results will be music to the ears of shareholders. However some members ponder the non-financial consequences of the Roo’s return to profit. In recent years the airline sacked thousands of its workers and made a number of other cuts in an attempt to boost its bottom line.

I’m genuinely thrilled with the results from Qantas today. But I have to ask: at what (non-monetary cost)?

For Qantas frequent flyer members with large point balances, it’s all good news. There was some concern in recent years that Qantas Frequent Flyer points would be forfeited if the airline went broke. Thankfully, such a scenario would seem unlikely at this point.

Operating cash flow in financial year 2015 was $2 billion, up from $1.1 billion in financial year 2014. Congratulations to all those QF staff who contributed to this result. A comment to all those doomsayers who said that we we would all lose our QFF points!

Follow the full discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]