Qantas has posted a $1 billion half-year profit marking a stark contrast to the $456 million loss in the previous December half.
Qantas announced it would launch a share buyback of up to $500 million off the back of the $9.9 billion in revenue it made in the six months to December.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the result was driven by the ongoing strength in demand, particularly domestic.
“This is a huge turnaround considering the massive losses we were facing just 12 months ago,” he said.
“Fares have risen because of higher fuel costs, but also because supply chain and resourcing issues meant capacity hasn’t kept up with demand. Now those challenges are starting to unwind, we can add more capacity and that will put downward pressure on fares.”
The spike in demand was underpinned by domestic operations, which recorded underlying earnings of $915 million.
The carrier said it would reward 20,000 employees with $500 worth of travel credits and bonuses of up to $11,500 in cash and shares.
Joyce said domestic seat capacity will be back at full capacity by June, but a full recovery of international capacity will take until 2024.
In the meantime, Qantas will invest $100 million into its lounge network including a new first class lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport.