The first payment of a dividend in the past seven years highlights a huge turnaround for the Australian airline Qantas Airways, which just two years ago were selling terminals, laying off employees and deferring aircraft orders to stave off losses from the big battle it was facing for the dominance in skies over Australia.
The dividend comes during a time when its largest regional rivals, which includes Cathay Pacific Airways, remain sluggish.
Qantas, referred to as the Flying Kangaroos posted on Wednesday an increase of 85% in its net profit through June for the year to A$1.03 billion equal to $780 million.
This result, which Qantas told reporters was the best in the 95-year old history of the company, comes only two years after a loss for the year of A$2.8 billion amidst a costly war on prices with Virgin Australia Holdings
The recovery by Qantas owes a great deal to the painful decisions that management had to make. The executives bet that defending the share in the domestic market of 65% was far more important than catering to investors that are yield hungry.
Late in 2013, the airline set a goal of saving over A$2 billion by flying plane more, reducing employees and overhauling fleet.
Since that time, Qantas cut annual costs by $1.66 billion and said on Wednesday that it was on track to save as much A$166 billion in its annual costs.
Alan Joyce the CEO at Qantas said that without that there would have been a huge loss.
Joyce added that the fuel hedged by Qantas saved the business A$644 million in comparison to the prior year, as the air carrier avoided the missteps in its strategy that led to the net slump in profits reached 82%.
In early August, Cathay posted a loss in fuel hedging of over $579 million after it was caught on the opposite side of the swings in global prices of oil.
Investors at Qantas were rewards for patients with the last dividend of 7 cents Australian representing the first payout since 2009.
Qantas’ battle with Virgin Australia shows that both would buy back shares that have been capitalized rising by 2.4% to outpace the back shares.
Qantas battle with its rival Virgin Australia, with seats being added and airfares slashed to woo in customers.