Air Transport World

Airline of the Year: Qantas.(Awards)

Any airline that can increase profits during the 1997-98 Asian currency crisis and remain profitable after 9/11 and last year's SARS outbreak is certainly made of the right stuff. Throw in an unsurpassed record for safety and technical excellence, a well-earned reputation for superb customer service, a commitment to cost containment and a willingness to try new things and you have this year's Airline of the Year.

Over the past five years, the former Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services has achieved a 50% increase in passengers to 28.8 million, lifted its load factor from 73.2% to 77.6%, increased passenger yield by 3.7%, raised its revenue 35%, grown its fleet from 135 to 196 units and generated A$2.12 billion ($1.64 billion) in net after-tax profits. For the most recent financial year ended last June 30, Qantas recorded sales of A$11.37 billion, up 2.3%, while net profit was A$343.5 million, down 20% compared to the prior year but a very strong performance nonetheless in light of the impact of the October 2002 terrorist bombings in Bali, SARS and the Iraq war. …

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