Qantas profit down, but it has an ambitious plan


Next year the airline plans to operate non-stop between Perth and London. "We're investing in lounges, Wi-Fi, and cabin upgrades; looking at new aircraft to evolve our network; and diversifying into new businesses like insurance and financial services", Joyce said.

"Hopefully we can fly direct from Sydney to London", Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said recently.

ViaSat's new equipment is tipped to provide faster speeds and more reliable connections, though it will not be switched on until the end of September as the newer technology must undergo additional testing.

The Jetstar Group, which includes Jetstar International, reported underlying earnings before interest and tax of A$417 million, down A$35 million on the year, but still the second highest in its history, it said.

The 97-year old airline declared a final dividend of 7 Australian cents a share, the same as the previous year. "We believe advances in the next few years will close the gap", Joyce said, per the Seattle Times.

Qantas shares jumped 2.8 percent to A$5.96, hitting a 10-year high in late morning trade, while the broader S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 percent.

Air New Zealand is expected to launch "spoiler" non-stop flights between Auckland and New York City years before Qantas can persuade Airbus or Boeing to build a jet which can serve the Big Apple non-stop from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Qantas is pushing the planemakers hard on a stretch goal of completing the Sydney-London flight with 300 seats to give it the highest possible revenue and fleet flexibility.

"In that time, we've tackled some hard structural issues, become a lot more efficient and kept improving the customer experience". A further on-market buyback of up to $373 million has been announced.

It's no secret the two next-generation jets identified by Qantas could fly nonstop to NY and London, though it's unclear whether they would enable an airline to do it profitably.

"We operate in a very competitive environment, so continuous improvement is crucial", he says.

Australian airline, Qantas, is planning to launch nonstop flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to London, and also NY, by 2022, Nine News reported online.

After initially falling on the news, Qantas shares regained altitude to be up nearly 1 per cent to $5.85 at midday (AEST).