The Qatar government has provided 7.3 billion riyals (US$1.95bn) in funding support to its national flag carrier, Qatar Airways, which has posted losses of QAR7bn riyals for the year to the end of March 2020.
The Gulf carrier said it had been impacted by the ongoing blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, as well the liquidation of Air Italy in February, in which Qatar Airways held a 49% stake.
The figures only cover the period up to 31 March, 2020, so the bulk of the effects of Covid-19 pandemic will be reflected in next year’s results.
The airline is to postpone new aircraft deliveries for at least eight years, according to its CEO Akbar Al Baker and the carrier’s A380s remain grounded, with Qatar Airways stating, “it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market”.
Qatar Airways had built up a strong network, of 160 destinations although Covid-19 has seen that fall back to 90 in September.
Al Baker said of the financial results: “Qatar Airways Group continues to remain resilient, reporting strong underlying fundamentals. If not for the exceptional circumstances of fiscal year 2020, our results would have been better than the year before.”
During the fiscal year 2020, the Group’s revenue increased to QAR51.1bn, and passenger traffic at Hamad International Airport increased by 8.6%.
“I am extremely proud of the teams, departments and subsidiaries across the Qatar Airways Group that have remained agile throughout this tumultuous period and adapted quickly to this new reality,” Al Baker added.
“I have every confidence that the Qatar Airways Group will emerge stronger from this difficult period.”