Qatar Airways has reported a net loss of QAR14.9 billion (US$4.1 billion) for financial 2020, laying out a full accounting of the Covid-19 pandemic to date.
The carrier said QAR8.4 billion (US$2.3 billion) was due to a one-time impairment charge related to the grounding of its Airbus A380 and A330 fleets in the wake of the outbreak.
The flag-carrier reported an operational loss at QAR1.1 billion (US$288 million), seven per cent less compared to 2019.
Furthermore, the group achieved a significant improvement in EBITDA, which stood at QAR6 billion (US$1.6 billion) compared to QAR5 billion (US$1.4 billion) the previous year.
Reflecting on what has been the most challenging and extraordinary 12 months in the history of the airline, Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “While our competitors grounded their aircraft and closed their routes, we adapted our entire commercial operation to respond to ever-evolving travel restrictions and never stopped flying, operating a network our passengers and customers could rely on.
“With the support of our varied fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, we were able to ensure that more of our scheduled flights operated than any other carrier and fulfilled our mission of taking stranded passengers home, while maintaining global supply chains to transport medical aid and supplies essential to the fight against Covid-19.
“We also significantly expanded our charter business as a direct response to increased demand in this area, providing vital and reliable services to support our customers during uncertain times, an effort that was publicly appreciated and acknowledged by many governments and organisations around the world.”
Cargo has also overseen a 4.6 per cent rise in freight tonnes handled over the previous fiscal year, with 2,727,986 tonnes (chargeable weight) handled in 2020.
The group also made significant progress in its ambition to forge new strategic partnerships with several major airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and China Southern Airlines.
These new alliances, along with an expanded cooperation with several existing partners, including JetBlue, Iberia, LATAM, Cathay Pacific and Oman Air, further strengthened Qatar Airways’ connectivity.