Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says that the airline's darkest days are now behind it, despite a shock paper loss of some $2.8 billion dollars over the 2013-2014 financial year.
That figure, inflated by an unprecedented $2.6 billion write-down of the Qantas International fleet, conceals what the airline' considers a more manageable underlying loss of $646 million.
"There’s no doubt that today’s numbers are confronting" Joyce admitted. "But they represent the year that is past, and we have now come through the worst... we are already emerging as a leaner, more focused, and sustainable Qantas Group."
"We still have more to do, but we have come through the worst and we have clear evidence of a brighter future."
Barring unforeseen headwinds – which are unfortunately more the rule than the exception in the airline industry – Joyce said that he expects to see Qantas "deliver an underlying profit before tax in the first half of the (2015) year."
In calendar terms, that's the second half of this year.
Joyce harkened back to "the cumulative effect of two years of market capacity growth outstripping demand" as part of the reason for Qantas' dismal results.
"Clear and significant easing of both international and domestic capacity growth, which will stabilise the operating environment," is the light at the end of the tunnel for Joyce, who expects "a rapid improvement in the Group’s financial performance in financial year 2015."
"Over the coming year we anticipate continuing high competitive intensity," Joyce admits, "but capacity growth is clearly and significantly easing in both the domestic and international markets."
Underlining Joyce's optimism is a remarkably clear mission: "Everything we are doing is about building a sustainable premium airline model for the 21st century".
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