Qatar Airways has witnessed 14% year-on-year expansion in overall revenue and other operating income during 2018-19, indicating the national carrier's ‘robust’ financial health despite the continued illegal blockade against the country.
The airline's performance is reflective of more than 14% year-on-year jump in the passenger revenue with available-seat-kilometres witnessing about 14% growth annually.
Cargo revenue witnessed growth of about 17% with capacity (available tonne kilometres) growing about 12% annually. Executive jet revenue also witnessed substantial growth in excess of 18% in comparison to previous year.
"2018-19 was a year of achievement in the face of adversity for Qatar Airways. 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 QR48bn ($13.2bn), a rise of 14%," Qatar Airways group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker said.
The QR48.02bn total revenue includes passenger earnings of QR34.13bn, cargo (QR10.06bn), sale of duty free goods and beverages (QR2.1bn), aircraft charters (QR0.76bn), ground handling (QR0.47bn) and hotel operations (QR0.36bn), according to its financial statement.
"2018-19 was nonetheless a challenging year and while it is disappointing that group has registered a net loss of QR2.3bn – attributable to the loss of mature routes, higher fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations – but the underlying fundamentals of our business remain extremely robust", al-Baker said.
The airline’s fleet grew by 25 aircraft to a point where it welcomed its 250th aircraft in March 2019. With more than 300 aircraft worth more than $85bn on order (including options and letters of intent) the group has the capacity to continue its ambitious but sustainable network expansion strategy.
Its current fleet is made up of 203 passenger aircraft, 25 cargo and 22 Qatar Executive jets (at the end of March 31, 2019). The passenger fleet comprises Airbus A350-1000 (seven), Airbus A321-200 (six), Airbus A330-300 (13), Airbus A350-900 (34), Airbus A340-600 (four), Airbus A330-200 (seven), Airbus A320-200 (33), Airbus A319LR (two), Airbus A380-800 (10), Boeing 787 Dreamliner (30), Boeing 777-300 ER (48) and Boeing 777-200LR (nine).
Qatar Airways launched 11 new destinations during the fiscal year 2019 and has now added a total of 31 (as of September 1, 2019) since the start of the illegal blockade, growing its network to over 160 gateways around the world.
"I look forward to 2019-20 with optimism and confidence that our growth will continue and we will serve even more countries around the world,” al-Baker said.
During the financial year, the group further built its investment portfolio by acquiring 5% of the total issued share capital of China Southern Airlines. This shareholding sits alongside its existing holdings in airlines such as Air Italy, Cathay Pacific, IAG, JetSuite and LATAM.
Overall, the group invested QR16.1bn ($4.4bn) in acquisition of aircraft and other assets as well as acquisition of shares of international airlines during the year.
Total assets were valued at QR98.16bn, comprising current assets of QR14.99bn and non-current assets of QR83.17bn at the end of March 31, 2019.
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