24 Oct 2014

Qantas out of the red and 'making money'

9:59 pm on 24 October 2014

Qantas investors have welcomed news that the airline is once again profitable. It comes less than two months after the Australian airline made a record loss of $A2.8 billion.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce. Photo: AAP

Qantas said today that the worst is behind it and that its back making money. Chief executive Alan Joyce told shareholders at the annual general meeting that the beleaguered airline returned to profitability in the September quarter.

"Our preliminary figures indicate the group has made an underlying profit before tax for the first quarter of the financial year 2015," he said.

Mr Joyce said the Qantas Group is on track to deliver "an underlying profit for the first half of the financial year."

It is a big turnaround from a $A646 million underlying loss and an even bigger $A2.8 billion statutory loss last financial year, the ABC reports.

However, the first half is traditionally much more profitable for Australian airlines as it includes revenue from fares booked for Christmas and the summer holidays.

Mr Joyce thanked the staff left at the airline for their support. "It has been very hard particularly seeing a significant number of colleagues depart the company, but as I go around the business I also see a renewed sense of purpose and pride."

Passenger numbers across the group were up 2.7 pe cent in the September compared to the year before, for the quarter passengers were up 3 percent.

Analysts believe Qantas is back to making a profit because of its savage cost-cutting and a more favourable business environment.

Investors liked the news, and this afternoon shares were 3.2 percent higher at $A1.42.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs