Qatar Airways Net Profit Up 21.7 Percent
Qatar Airways reported a net profit increase of just under 22 percent for the financial year to end March as it continued its rapid expansion.
Net profit rose to QAR1.97 billion riyals (USD$537.6 million) from QAR1.62 billion the previous year. Group revenue was up 10.4 percent at QAR39.4 billion riyals, with operating expenses of QAR37.3 billion riyals, up from QAR32.67 billion.
The Doha-based airline carried 32 million passengers in the 12 months, a 20 percent increase from FY16. Available seat km (ASK) capacity rose by 21.8 percent.
During the year, Qatar Air added 10 destinations and expanded its fleet to 196 aircraft. It increased its stake in British Airways and Iberia parent IAG to just over 20 percent, and bought 10 percent of LATAM Airlines Group.
“Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy that has seen the Qatar Airways Group grow from a small regional airline into an aviation powerhouse over the last two decades,” chief executive Akbar Al Baker said.
The airline was critical of delivery delays at Airbus, resulting in it having to lease two A350s from LATAM. During the year, as launch customer, Qatar refused to take delivery of four Airbus A320neos due to performance issues with its Pratt & Whitney engines. The airline subsequently converted its order to the larger A321neo, with deliveries starting in 2018.
The carrier said that despite Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, and closing road, sea and air connections, it continues to operate “the rest of its network as per its published schedules with day-to-day adjustments for operational and commercial efficiencies.”
Looking forward, Qatar Air said it will add 24 new destinations over the next year, including San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago.