Qatar Airways sank into an annual loss of 14.9 billion riyals (£ 3 billion) after writing down the value of its stranded Airbus A380s.
The Gulf public carrier attributed more than half of the year’s loss as of March 31 to depreciation charges on its 10 super jumbos, as well as some smaller A330 jets.
“It is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in today’s market,” Qatar said of the two-stage, four-engine A380 that can carry more than 500 passengers.
Before the pandemic, chief executive Akbar Al Baker had said Qatar would withdraw its A380 fleet from 2024.
The planes were brought to a standstill earlier than expected when the coronavirus struck early last year and it is not known whether they will resume service.
Unlike its rivals, Qatar continued to operate its extensive network of long-haul routes throughout the pandemic, even expanding it to destinations such as the United States, Brazil, Canada and Nigeria.
It serves 140 destinations and launches nine new routes. “We have adapted all of our business operations to meet evolving travel restrictions and have never stopped flying, operating a network our passengers and customers can rely on,” said Mr. Al Baker.
The Doha-based company’s cargo business doubled revenue, capitalizing on booming fares by filling dedicated cargo ships and otherwise empty passenger flight holds.
Although it received no salary support or subsidies, the carrier received £ 2.2bn in equity from the Qatari government.
The airline did not expect international travel to return to pre-Covid levels until 2024.
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This notice was published: 2021-09-27 20:14:57