Qatar Airways Reports Record $4.1 Billion Loss, But…

Qatar Airways Reports Record $4.1 Billion Loss, But…

18

Qatar Airways has just reported a record $4.1 billion loss for the 2020-2021 financial year, but it might not be quite as bad as it sounds.

Qatar Airways’ 2020-2021 financial year results

Qatar Airways has reported a net less of $4.1 billion for the past financial year (April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021), though $2.3 billion of that is a one-time impairment charge related to the grounding of the carrier’s Airbus A380 and Airbus A330 fleets.

Of the $4.1 billion loss, only $288.3 million was an operating loss, and that loss is 7% less than during the previous financial year. That’s pretty remarkable in a way, since the previous financial year was only the tip of the iceberg as far as the pandemic goes.

Qatar Airways has taken an unconventional approach during the pandemic — while most airlines greatly cut back their service for extended periods of time, Qatar Airways never stopped flying, and also added back service much more quickly than at other airlines. This gives Qatar Airways a huge recovery advantage, especially for an airline relying on connecting traffic.

When the pandemic first shut down global aviation, Qatar Airways briefly reduced its route network down to 33 destinations. However, at this point the airline is back up to 140 destinations, including flying to some cities that weren’t served pre-pandemic (for example, in the United States Qatar Airways has started flying to San Francisco and Seattle).

Looking at the annual report, here are a few interesting numbers that stand out, comparing the 2020-2021 financial year to the 2019-2020 financial year:

  • Qatar Airways had 36,707 employees, compared to 50,110 the previous year
  • Qatar Airways had 250 aircraft, compared to 258 the previous year
  • Qatar Airways carried 5.829 million passengers, compared to 32.364 million passengers the previous year

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker had the following to say about the carrier’s performance the past year:

“There are three words that I believe best describe Qatar Airways Group’s response in the past year – strength, resilience, and commitment. Strength to not shy away from taking a risk or avoiding difficult decisions, resilience in remaining focused and not allowing events to overcome us, and commitment by never reneging on our promises to customers, partners, and employees.”

Qatar Airways’ financial results could have been a lot worse

Qatar Airways received $3 billion in government support

Qatar Airways is government owned, and in the financial results it’s disclosed that the government provided the airline with $3 billion in the form of an “equity injection” in the past year. In the previous financial year, the airline received about $2 billion in support from the government.

While some US carriers have long whined about subsidies to the Gulf carriers, I imagine they won’t have much to say this time around, since the support that Qatar Airways has received pales in comparison to what American, Delta, and United have gotten from US taxpayers.

Qatar Airways received $3 billion from the government of Qatar

Bottom line

Qatar Airways has reported a $4.1 billion loss for the past financial year, though over half of that is a one-time impairment charge to account for the grounding of the A380 and A330 fleets. The airline received a $3 billion capital injection from the government of Qatar, which is hardly noteworthy compared to what we’ve seen in the rest of the world.

Ultimately virtually all airlines had a rough year, and I’ve been impressed by the way that Qatar Airways has charted its own course through the pandemic, and has maintained its network when other airlines didn’t.

What do you make of Qatar Airways’ results from the past financial year?

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  1. Sammy

    I agree with what was said about holding refunds to Customers . My family tickets was refunded as vouchers but I was surprised that only the person on the ticket can use it .I also have over 700 dollar for my wife which was also held for over 90 days .I know that they need the money , but we are also suffering and we need our money .

  2. Erin

    This article sounds like a shill for QA. Yes, most all airlines received subsidies and the US and European airlines have no room to complain. But note how many fewer employees QA now has. As others have commented, there is essentially NO customer service. Employees come and go. That is the culture of QA and its Director, Al Baker. People are disposable. And it is this mentality shows and customers pay for it. Bookings are...

    This article sounds like a shill for QA. Yes, most all airlines received subsidies and the US and European airlines have no room to complain. But note how many fewer employees QA now has. As others have commented, there is essentially NO customer service. Employees come and go. That is the culture of QA and its Director, Al Baker. People are disposable. And it is this mentality shows and customers pay for it. Bookings are made, and then not honored. One department doesn't communicate with the other. Those who actually work with customers have no ability to fix things when they go wrong. Why? There is a culture from the top of mistrust. Good luck if QA cancels your flight, or even worse cannot find your paid booking when you show up at the airport with a copy of your paid reservation. You might not EVER get your money back, and if so it will be with a fight and long delay. This is an airline to avoid if you can.

  3. Kebba Jeng

    I guess this is why they are keeping passengers refunds as hostage like they did mine. The airline canceled our trip to Bali due to COVID and agreed to refund us $3008.74 since June 14th, 2021 and continued to lie that it was sent to our bank which they never did and Qatar can't provide tracking information after repeated calls to their complaint dept. I found out online that many people are complaining of the same issue. Shame on Qatar Airways!!

    1. Chris

      I got 4 ticket paid back by QR from 2020, last one 2 weeks ago take less than 7 days to be credited back on my CC.

      Different experience...

  4. Miklo

    Absolutely agree ! My planned trip to DXB via SEA & DOH fell apart when their staff in Seattle didn’t even know how to follow their own policies and I’ve yet to hear back from their Customer Relations team, I was booked in paid Business Class and am One World elite and got ZERO preferential treatment the entire time

  5. Ahmed Ali

    Qatar airways is Best airlines۔

  6. OWE Flyer

    Qatar gets the easy part right - service on board is always fantastic. However, if anything goes remotely sideways, customer service is completely non-existent. Service provided to top-tier QR elites is well below what is provided to US airline top-tier elites, especially during delays/irregular ops.

  7. Pierre

    As far as Business news go, the pandemic is almost "the past". But one competitive disadvantage which still looms over them is the disastrous devaluation of the QR trips in Business Class at all fares except the highest.

    In particular, there is no more interest to go from places like Warsaw or Budapest to New York via Doha, which I did a lot, when non-stop or one-stop "not out of the way" are plentiful....

    As far as Business news go, the pandemic is almost "the past". But one competitive disadvantage which still looms over them is the disastrous devaluation of the QR trips in Business Class at all fares except the highest.

    In particular, there is no more interest to go from places like Warsaw or Budapest to New York via Doha, which I did a lot, when non-stop or one-stop "not out of the way" are plentiful.

    I strongly believe that one of the main reasons behind AA's devaluation of QR's R and I class trips is the fact that they did lose a lot of passengers going the long way. One thing I do not believe is that Qatar Airways can rely exclusively on its good service aboard (service on the ground and Customer Service are atrocious) and its good hard product.

  8. George

    Connected through Dell half for the first time last month heading back to the US. Utterly painless. Qatar business class was outstanding as well.

    They have won me over very convincingly. It would appear there gamble to keep operating, it’s paying off for people like me.

  9. Greg

    The bread and butter of Qatar Airways is routes from Middle and West Asia (Pakistan, India, Afghanistan etc) to US/Europe

    Idiotically, through most of 2020/2021 Qatar Airways has had extra flying requirement of 48 hour max pcr test on top of government imposed ones for passengers leaving from a list of destinations (which includes these countries).

    So even if say, Albania has no test or entry requirement, or US is fine with just a quick...

    The bread and butter of Qatar Airways is routes from Middle and West Asia (Pakistan, India, Afghanistan etc) to US/Europe

    Idiotically, through most of 2020/2021 Qatar Airways has had extra flying requirement of 48 hour max pcr test on top of government imposed ones for passengers leaving from a list of destinations (which includes these countries).

    So even if say, Albania has no test or entry requirement, or US is fine with just a quick antigen test, Qatar Airways will insist on everyone leaving Pakistan to get a 48 hour pcr test, regardless of destination.

    So yeah, they deserve to lose money.

    1. Sam

      Ah you’re one of the idiots who think COVID isn’t real… what’s wrong with a 48hr PCR?? I’m going to guess that you probably work as a keyboard warrior for buzzfeed or some other equally mind numbing job behind a desk. Well why don’t you leave the science to the scientists instead of using your PhD from Facebook on COVID

  10. Mak

    Glad that Qatar has now gotten rid of ridiculous and theatrical PPP for cabin crew - while as far as I'm aware EK continues with it.

    1. Eskimo

      You mean PPE?

      The only thing I can think of PPP acronym relating to cabin crew is the Paycheck Protection Program.

      TL;DR OMG PPL TBH AKA IMHO FYI AFAIK FWIW NVM FOMO SMH TTYL THX.

      Isn't it annoying when you don't understand??

    2. John

      @Eskimo. You better stop right there, sir.
      Acronyms are for @Sean M what 'blood in the water' is for sharks. He's been somewhat improving, but the sight of all these capital letters might set him off an another acronym frenzy. You have been warned!

    3. Eskimo

      @John

      Sorry for @Sean M but he's probably on a frenzy for the past year and a half.

      COVID is one acronym that is brought up several times a day.

      LOL, oops.

    4. Ted

      “Theatrical” - love it. The perfect word. But let’s continue to serve every bit of food ridiculously wrapped up in plastic when Covid is not spread on food or by touching food containers or utensils. Just make it stop.

    5. DenB

      Alert the media: a COVID policy isn't fully compatible with sanity

Featured Comments Load all 18 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

OWE Flyer

Qatar gets the easy part right - service on board is always fantastic. However, if anything goes remotely sideways, customer service is completely non-existent. Service provided to top-tier QR elites is well below what is provided to US airline top-tier elites, especially during delays/irregular ops.

Eskimo

You mean PPE? The only thing I can think of PPP acronym relating to cabin crew is the Paycheck Protection Program. TL;DR OMG PPL TBH AKA IMHO FYI AFAIK FWIW NVM FOMO SMH TTYL THX. Isn't it annoying when you don't understand??

Neil

The A -380 will certainly be missed

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