Dhaka: Qatar Airways witnessed a loss of USD639 million for the year 2018-2019, according to the carrier’s annual report published on September 18.
Last year, the airline lost about USD69 million labelling it as the most challenging year in their history. However, this year’s results represent a nearly tenfold increase in the company’s losses.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways blames these results on “the loss of mature routes, higher fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations”.
Also, due to the Gulf blockade, the airline is having to fly longer routes to avoid certain airspace, which increases their fuel bill and reduces their aircraft utilisation.
The airline has had to cut routes to several countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which used to be their two single biggest foreign markets.
“2018-19 was nonetheless a challenging year and while it is disappointing that Group has registered a net loss of QAR 2.3 billion (USD 639 million) – attributable to the loss of mature routes, higher fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations – the underlying fundamentals of our business remain extremely robust,” said Akbar Al Baker.
“Despite facing challenges that are unparalleled in the airline industry, I am very proud that we have grown our fleet, expanded our network and seen overall revenue increase to QAR 48 billion (USD 13.2 billion), a rise of 14 per cent,” added the CEO.
This year, the carrier’s passenger revenue increased by 14.3 per cent, while capacity (measured by available seat kilometers) grew by 13.5 per cent. Cargo revenue increased by 16.8 per cent, while capacity (measured by available ton kilometers) grew by 11.8 per cent.
These numbers indicate that the carrier’s increased revenue is significantly outpacing increased capacity.
The airline also expanded its network and fleet, adding 11 destinations to its route network and 25 aircraft to its fleet.