Qantas Forecasts Domestic Capacity Will Soon Leap Beyond Pre-Pandemic Levels

Qantas Airways Ltd. said that it expected domestic travel would top pre-pandemic levels next financial year as it raised its forecast for the current quarter on the back of strong demand in a country nearly free of COVID-19, Reuters reported. A return to 90% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity in the fourth quarter ending June 30 will allow it to report positive cashflow and begin repairing a balance sheet burdened by extra debt that helped get it through the pandemic, Chief Executive Alan Joyce said on Thursday. The airline entered the crisis with one of the industry's strongest balance sheets, though its biggest domestic rival, Virgin Australia, benefited from a bankruptcy restructuring that allowed it to cut fixed costs more than Qantas. The priority for Qantas now is generating cash by offering low fares to stimulate demand and get employees back in the air rather than worrying about a quick return to profitability factoring in interest and depreciation, Joyce said. Read more.