Despite the pandemic-driven challenges, Qatar Airways expanded its network to 140 destinations with new routes and resumed flights to key destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The Qatari flag carrier, Qatar Airways Group reported on Friday the highest net profit in its 25-year history, with $1.54 billion (QAR5.6 billion) registered during the fiscal year 2021-2022.
The results mark a 200% upsurge above the airline’s highest annual profit, with a 78% increase in consolidated revenue compared to 2021 and 2% above pre-COVID-19 results to $14.4 billion (QAR52.3 billion).
“This year, Qatar Airways Group celebrates a quarter of a century of history since its relaunch, whilst maintaining strong performance and growing profitability,” Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker said, stressing that the company’s “commitment to providing the greatest choices to our passengers, maintaining the industry’s highest levels of safety and earning [passengers’] trust, have made us proudly become the airline of choice for millions of travelers around the world.”
Al Baker emphasised that the airline “pursued every business opportunity and left no stone unturned” to meet its targets.
Despite the pandemic-driven challenges, the airline expanded its network to 140 destinations with new routes including Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Kano and Port Harcourt in Nigeria and resumed flights to key destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The company has continuously operated the largest network among all Middle Eastern airlines, as measured by the number of destinations and weekly flights.
Passenger revenue marked a 210% increase above last year’s records, owing to the carrier’s network growth, increase in market share and higher unit revenue for the second financial year in a row.
The airline carried 18.5 million passengers, marking a 218% increase in passenger volumes compared to last year.
Meanwhile, the group’s cargo arm, Qatar Airways Cargo reported a 25% increase in revenue and a corresponding 25% annual growth in cargo capacity compared to 2020-2021.
Against the backdrop of the pandemic disruption, the airline also transported more than three million tonnes of air freight, securing an 8% share in the global market.
On a group level, Qatar Airways generated a strong EBITDA margin of 34% at $4.9 billion (QAR17.7 billion), $3.2 billion (QAR 11.8 billion) higher than the previous year due to “streamlined, agile and fit-for-purpose operations across all business areas,” according to the company.
The company stated that these record earnings are the result of decisions made during the pandemic to expand its passenger and cargo networks, with a more accurate forecast of the global market recovery, building further customer and trade loyalty and product excellence combined with strong cost control.
On his part, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy and Qatar Airways Group Chairman, HE Saad Bin Sharida Al Kaabi said that the group has demonstrated a robust role in the aviation industry, adding that these financial results are a clear indication of the group’s strong performance against challenges during the previous period.
In 2021, the airline has become the world’s largest global long-haul carrier by RPKs and was named the “Airline of the Year” for the sixth time in the Skytrax World Airline Awards. Moreover, the carrier’s hub, Hamad International Airport was named the “Best Airport in the World” in 2021.
Qatar Airways Cargo also earned three major industry awards including Cargo Operator of the Year at the ATW Airline Awards; Cargo Airline of the Year, and Air Cargo Industry Achievement Award at Air Cargo Week’s World Air Cargo Awards.
“These achievements not only highlight our exceptional brand reputation but also our outstanding hard work across the Qatar Airways Group family,” Al Baker commented.
Throughout the year, the group maintained a highly-successful and wealthy portfolio
of regional and global partnerships to champion the brand across the world, including global sporting
clubs Al Sadd SC; Boca Juniors; Brooklyn Nets; FC Bayern München; and Paris Saint-Germain; as well as the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and FIFA.
The group continued to showcase its unwavering commitment to giving back and supporting communities and charitable initiatives.
Furthermore, it continued to set new environmental sustainability targets for the aviation industry, and recently released its Sustainability Report 2021 to highlight its key initiatives and commitment to the environment and sustainability, it said in an official statement.
Qatar Airways cargo transported more than 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines throughout the pandemic, concentrating its efforts on enhancing its Pharma product and industry presence, while also ensuring commitment to its WeQare initiative, featuring a series of positive and impactful actions in the form of chapters based on the core pillars of sustainability – environment, society, economy, and culture.
“As the world continues its recovery from the devastating impact of COVID-19, Qatar Airways remains committed to keeping passengers and cargo moving across the globe, maintaining and building on the exceptional standards of our first 25 years of operation, that earnt us the accolade of being the Best Airline in the World,” the airline said.
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