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Qatar Airways annual losses double on pandemic, impairments By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A Qatar Airways aircraft takes off from Hamad International Airport as it resumes its international flights to Saudi Arabia. This is Doha, Qatar, January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

DUBAI (Reuters) -Qatar Airways Group on Monday reported a doubling of annual losses to 14.9 billion riyal ($4.1 billion), hit by the COVID-19 collapse in long-haul travel and aircraft impairment charges.

It is a state-owned entity that includes the airline as well other aviation assets. The group reported an 8.4 billion riyal impairment for its fleet of Airbus A380s and 16 A330s.

Operating loss decreased by 7 percent to 1.1 million riyal.

Akbar Al Baker, chief executive, has warned that A380s – the world’s largest passenger jet – may not return to operational flight due to the effect of the pandemic.

Comparing the financial results for March 31, 2018, the figure is a loss of 7.3 billionriyals to the previous year, which was also affected by the January airspace ban by Saudi Arabia.

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Both total revenue and other operating income declined 42.5% to 29.5 billion riyal. Passenger revenues fell almost 80% to 7.9 million riyal.

To 5.8 million, the number of passengers was down 82%.

Qatar Airways also confirmed it had received $3Billion in support from state since the start of the pandemic. It was funded via equity injections by the State of Qatar.

While it claimed that the state did not provide any subsidy in the form tax relief or salary support to Qatar Airways, its employees received a 15% temporary wage cut and its workforce shrank from 36,707 to 27%.

Dubai’s Emirates suffered a loss of $5.5 billion and received equity injections totaling $3.1 billion from the government during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Qatar Airways, Emirates and others do not have any domestic markets. They are not immune to the closures or restrictions at borders that were put in place to stem the spread COVID-19.

Airline services have increased steadily since last year’s drastic reductions. As countries ease restrictions on travel and more people get vaccinated, they are gradually increasing services.

Qatar Airways stated that it now flys to more than 140 destinations. This is an increase from 33 in the aftermath of the pandemic.

($1 = 3.6607 Qatar riyal)

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