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Qatar Airways profits soar despite pandemic backdrop

Qatar Airways Group reported a record net profit of $1.54 billion for the 2021-22 financial year as it claimed an industry-leading financial performance by steering Covid recovery.

The amount was 200% above its highest annual historical profit and came as revenue rose 78% year-on-year to $14.4 billion and 2% above pre-pandemic 2019-20.

Passenger revenue increased by 210% over the previous year due to the growth of the carrier’s network, increased  market share and higher unit revenue, for the second financial year in a row. 

Qatar Airways carried 18.5 million passengers, up by 218% over last year.

The earnings came as the result of decisions made during the pandemic to expand the Qatar Airways’ 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”.

The airline credited its positive results in the most difficult period ever in the global airline industry to its agility and “successful strategy which continued to focus on customer needs and evolving market opportunities, as well as efficiency and the commitment of its worldwide employees”. 

The network grew to more than 140 destinations in 2021-22 despite Covid-19 challenges, opening new routes including Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Almaty, Kazakhstan and Kano and Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in addition to resuming flights to key markets across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 

The company claimed to have operated continuously the largest network among all Middle East airlines, as measured by number or destinations as well as weekly flights.

Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “This year Qatar Airways Group celebrates a quarter of a century of history since its relaunch, whilst maintaining strong performance and growing profitability.

“Our commitment to providing the greatest choices to our passengers, maintaining the highest levels of safety in the industry and earning trust have made us proudly become the airline of choice for millions of travellers around the world. 

“We have pursued every business opportunity and left no stone unturned as we aimed to meet our targets.

“I am extremely proud of the decisions we have made to embrace efficiency and achieve strong cost control across several operational departments whilst engaging in environmental and sustainable initiatives. This has positioned us at the forefront in the field of sustainability, including environmental protection and social commitment.

“Our strategic investments in a varied fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft has helped us overcome the significant challenges related to capacity constraints while balancing commercial needs as swiftly as possible.”

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