News / Asia

Australian Flag Carrier Posts Record Losses

FILE - A Qantas plane prepares to take off at Sydney Airport, at Sydney, Australia.
FILE - A Qantas plane prepares to take off at Sydney Airport, at Sydney, Australia.
Phil Mercer

Australia's national airline Qantas has posted full-year losses of $2.6 billion - its biggest ever annual loss.  The development is likely to hasten efforts to allow foreign investment in the troubled carrier.

One of the world’s most recognizable airlines has a proud history going back almost 100 years. But Qantas is in deep trouble. Soaring fuel costs and fierce competition have resulted in mass redundancies and huge financial losses.

Results for this financial year - losses of $2.6 billion - are the worst in Qantas’ history.  The airline says the dismal figures are, in part, due to weak demand, the huge write-down on its international fleet and costs associated with thousands of job cuts.
 
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce believes that the carrier is through the worst, and will soon bounce back.  “We believe that we've turned the corner and that we've given an outlook statement saying that this business will, we believe, subject to factors outside our control, get back into profits for the first half of this financial year. We've made major progress with our Qantas transformation program, which is delivering real benefits in turning the business around,” he said.

Qantas has an alliance with Dubai-based Emirates, and wants the Australian government to relax regulations that limit foreign ownership of the airline to 49 percent as travelers continue to desert Australia’s national carrier.

Passenger numbers are falling as the aviation market in Australia has become saturated. Qantas is facing relentless competition on both its international and domestic routes.

The airline's chief executive says allowing greater foreign ownership could lead to more lucrative international partnerships.

Paul Patterson, a professor of marketing at the University of New South Wales, believes that Qantas has failed to make the most of a famous brand.

“There are four things in branding theory that you have got to have to have a really successful brand. You’ve got to be different. I’m not sure that Qantas is that different today. It has got to be relevant. It has got to resonate with your consumers. I think Qantas probably does with a segment of the market, but with the other segment of the market that wants price, cheaper airfares, Qantas doesn’t resonate with them. They have got to be known for some sort of quality or value, at least, and people have to understand them. And I’m not quite sure that people understand what Qantas stands for today,” said Patterson.

Analysts say the financial results are so bad that the entire board of management should resign. Investors, however, seem far less worried.

Following the chief executive's optimistic view of the firm's future, the carrier's shares rise in Australia by up to eight percent in early trade.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs