Qatar Airways delivers stellar fiscal year 2017-18 results despite blockade

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Sep 18, 2018: Qatar Airways’ overall revenue and other operating income grew 7.22 percent annually compared to capacity (Available Seat Kilometres) growth of 9.96 percent, reveals its recently published annual report for 2017-18. 

“Lower revenue growth was directly attributable to the illegal blockade since June 5, 2017, which impacted departing seats by 19 percent,” added the report. 

Despite facing the most challenging year in its 20-year history due to illegal blockade by its neighboring countries, the airline has sustained strong EBITDAR growth. The Group generated EBITDAR Margin of 23 percent at QAR 9.714 billion. EBITDAR was lower than the previous year by QAR 1.759 billion due to longer flying time resulting from the blockade and loss of departing seats from the blockading countries.  

Coming to the cargo revenue, the carrier witnessed very impressive growth of 34.40 percent against cargo capacity (Available Tonne Kilometres) growing 13.95 percent annually.

The airline responded in a rapid manner when 18 regional gateways illegally blocked Qatar’s airspace on June 5 2017. It opened 14 new destinations during the fiscal year to replace 18 mature routes closed due to the blockade.  Within 10 weeks new destinations to Sohar, Prague and Kyiv were announced and launched, while other routes saw an increase in frequency and capacity. 

Akbar Al Baker, Group chief executive, Qatar Airways said: “This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the illegal blockade has had on our airline. However, I am pleased to say that thanks to our robust business planning, swift actions in the face of the crisis, our passenger-focused solutions and dedicated staff, the impact has been minimised – and has certainly not been as negative as our neighbouring countries may have hoped for.”

As the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Airbus A350-1000 in February 2018, Qatar Airways proved once again that it leads where other airlines follow in terms of providing passengers with the latest generation aircraft available in the skies. As well as taking delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000, the airline added 20 other aircraft to the fleet throughout the financial year, increasing the total number to 213 (as of March 31, 2018).

During the financial year, Qatar Airways Group also continued apace with the expansion of its investment portfolio to include an initial 9.94 percent stake in Cathay Pacific, which has since increased to 9.99 percent, as well as a 49 percent share of AQA Holding, the parent company of Meridiana fly, which was relaunched as Air Italy in February 2018.

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