Qantas achieves second-highest profit ever

Source Qantas

Source Qantas

Qantas has posted the second-highest profit in its history as a result of a strong domestic business, a recovery in worldwide and cost cuts as it announced plans to launch direct flights from Australia's east coast to London and NY within five years.

Qantas said net profit totaled 852 million Australian dollars (US$673 million) in the year through June.

Although down almost 9% from that record, Chief Executive Alan Joyce says the company's turnaround is complete.

"If the High Court says it goes ahead, then we will be fully behind it", he said when asked about his intentions after unveiling Qantas' full-year profit on Friday. "We tackled some hard structural issues, became a lot more efficient and kept improving customer service".

"It's fair to say those efforts have well-and-truly paid off", he said.

Qantas shares closed 3.79 per cent higher at A$6.02.

It was looking into offering direct flights from Australia's east coast to London and NY by 2022, if manufacturers Airbus and Boeing develop aircraft with "the range to make these non-stop flights possible with a full passenger load".

Analysts were expecting earnings to be $1.39 billion.

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-17.2% Fall in annual net profit.

Sydney located on the eastern seaboard of Australia to London is a direct flight of approximately 20 hours, cutting close to four hours from the current trip.

Currently, the longest non-stop commercial flight is Qatar Airways' Doha-Auckland service, covering a distance of 14,535 kilometres (9,032 miles) and with a flight time of more than 16 hours.

As its global rivals added additional flights, Qantas' earnings from its worldwide flights dropped by 36%.

Investors will get a final dividend of 7 cents a share, unfranked, worth $127 million.

The group's two most profitable businesses, Qantas' domestic operations and its low-priced carrier Jetstar, reached a record $865 million in underlying earnings before interest and tax.

Qantas employees also stand to benefit, with the airline announcing bonuses of $2,500 each to around 25,000 non-executive employees to mark its turnaround.

It posted an Underlying EBIT of $327 million, its second highest result but a fall of $185 million on previous year.