Australian carrier Qantas Airways on Thursday announced that it’s “unlikely” to resume international flights operation before July 2021, as the airline suffers heavy losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline has reported a 2.7 billion Australian dollars ($1.9 billion) loss for the fiscal year that ended in June and a 91% drop in profit from the prior year.
The company said it saw a revenue drop of 4 billion Australian dollars ($2.9 billion) in the second half of the financial year because of the “Covid-19 crisis and associated border restrictions.”
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement that the second half of the financial year 2020 was the “toughest set of conditions the national carrier had faced in its 100 years” but added that the company had the “resilience to deal with them.”
“We’ve had to make some hard decisions in the past few months to ensure our future. A minimum of 6,000 of our people will leave the business through no fault of their own, and thousands more are going to be stood down for a long time,” Joyce said. “Recovery will take time and it’ll be choppy.”
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the airline industry hard. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an airline trade organization, said in July that it doesn’t expect global aviation to get over the crisis until 2024.