Qatar Airways reported a net loss of QAR 14.9 billion ($ 4.1 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, double the loss suffered the previous year.
The airline said the loss was largely due to a decision to ground its fleet of ten Airbus A380s during the pandemic. In his annual report, CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Due to the impact of Covid-19 on travel demand, the airline has made the decision to ground its fleet of A380 aircraft as it does not is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in today’s market. With international travel not expected to return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024, the airline has made the prudent choice to depreciate 10 of its Airbus A380s. “
The carrier was one of the few to maintain substantial networks during the pandemic serving key cities such as Amsterdam, Dallas-Fort Worth, London, Montreal, São Paulo, Singapore, Johannesburg, Sydney and Tokyo – it even became the largest international carrier globally at one time.
Al Baker said: “As our competitors grounded their planes and closed their routes, we have adapted our entire network to meet ever-changing travel restrictions and have never stopped flying – fulfilling our mission to bring back. passengers stranded at home on scheduled and charter flights.
“I am extremely proud that, even at the height of the pandemic, Qatar Airways’ global network has never fallen below 33 destinations in an effort to deliver on our commitment to our passengers and freight customers, which has helped bring back more than three million people. passengers stranded worldwide in 2020/21 only.
As passenger demand fell to 5.8 million during the year – down from 32.4 million in 2019-2020 – the airline reduced its workforce from 50,110 to 36,707. Employees who remained also suffered a 15 percent pay cut to help the airline cut costs.
The cost reduction enabled the airline to reduce its operating loss to QAR 1.1 billion (US $ 288.3 million), down 7% from 2019/20.
The large losses required the support of its owner, the government of Qatar, in the form of a $ 3 billion equity injection. However, the airline said it did not receive any subsidies in the form of wage assistance, tax relief or subsidies like other global airlines.