- Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) marked its 100th anniversary yesterday with some scintillating celebrations.
- The airlines received a candle-blowing light-off show from Sydney at the iconic Harbour Bridge while it charted a low level 100 minute flight with its 787.
- CEO Alan Joyce asserted that the company was set to emerge from pre-crisis level as more borders were opening up
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) completed its 100 years of service to Australia yesterday, receiving a spectacular tribute from Sydney, which has been the home for the airlines for more than eight decades. Sydney marked the Company’s centenary by lighting up its iconic world-famous Harbour Bridge.
Stuart Ayres described the tribute as the recognition for one of the world’s longest continuously operating airlines. He cited that Sydney had immensely benefited from a century of successful operations of the airline that brought visitors to the state, boosting the travel economy and local jobs.
Apart from that, QAN operated a low level overfly at 1,500 feet above the Harbour Bridge, carrying ~ 200 passengers, including 100 staff members on a 100-minute flight. The special Centenary Scenic Flight further amazed people both on the ground and in the air with a spectacular candle-blowing light off moment at the Harbour Bridge as the flight went above it.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce mentioned that the Company was honoured to receive such a special and spectacular Centenary birthday show from the state, citing that QAN’s aircraft have been flying over the iconic bridge for decades, and the lighting arrangements along with the candle-blowing light off moment was a spectacular way to mark the 100th anniversary.
Coming down to the nitty-gritty of the business, Mr Joyce suggested that though this has been a tough year for tourism, QAN would be ready to bring more people to NSW as more domestic borders open up.
Commenting ahead, the CEO mentioned that the airlines would stop burning through cash and restore seat capacity to at least half its pre-crisis levels by this Christmas.
The cash conservation has been the war cry for the airlines for quite some time now, especially in the current situation which had been regarded as the “Survival Mode” by the Chairman Richard Goyder.
To Know More, Do Read: Qantas (ASX:QAN) “in a survival mode”, States Chairman At the Virtual AGM
At present, Qantas heavily relies upon cross border reopening as the business has been dented considerably from the travel restrictions and border closures, which had slumped the revenue by $4 billion during the last financial quarter (Q4FY2020).
So far, the airlines have put many operations into hibernation for conserving cash while raising over $2 billion through secured and unsecured debt and $1.4 billion through equity raising since March 2020.
Currently, the airline is targeting $1 billion in ongoing cost improvements from the financial year 2023.
However, the cost-cutting has prompted the Company to furlough ~18,000 people and slashing ~8,000 jobs, attracting some strong backlash from trade unions, which accused Mr Joyce of using COVID-19 as an excuse to downgrade working conditions.
Countering the backlash from trade unions, Mr Joyce has repeatedly mentioned that those measures were necessary otherwise the airline would have been one of those 40 per cent airlines that some analysts have warned could go bust.
Qantas traded at $5.280 a share on 17 November 2020 (12:55 PM AEDT) with a market capitalisation of 9.78 billion.
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