Qatar Airways Group has reported that cargo revenue grew by 16.8 per cent to QR10 billion ($2.74 billion) on the back of cargo capacity expansion of 11.8 per cent in the 2018/19 fiscal year.
The airline said during the period it transported 1.4 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 6.8 per cent year-on-year and it added it is now the second largest cargo carrier in the world.
However, the Group as a whole posted an overall net loss of QR2.3 billion for the period ending 31 March, as losses at Air Italy and a 36 per cent rise in fuel costs pulled performance down.
Air Italy generated a QR542 million loss for the financial year to 31 March, of which the Qatar Airways Group share amounts to QR265.5 million. Qatar Airways Group took a 49 per cent interest in the parent company of Air Italy in September 2017.
Qatar Airways itself reported an operating loss of almost QR1.85 billion, the company’s consolidated accounts show.
The carrier published the results in its annual report for 2018-19, which it said highlight the group’s success and “underlying robust financial health” in the face of the continued illegal airspace blockade against the State of Qatar.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker said 2018/19 was a “year of achievement in the face of adversity” for Qatar Airways. “Despite facing challenges that are unparalleled in the airline industry, I am very proud that we have grown our fleet, expanded our network and seen overall revenue increase to QR48 billion ($13.2 billion), a rise of 14%,” he said.
He added: “2018-19 was nonetheless a challenging year and while it is disappointing that Group has registered a net loss of QR 2.3 billion ($639 million) – attributable to the loss of mature routes, higher fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations – the underlying fundamentals of our business remain extremely robust.”
The airline’s fleet grew by 25 aircraft and it welcomed its 250th aircraft in March 2019. Qatar Airways Group has a further 300 aircraft on order.
Qatar Airways Cargo now serves more than 60 freighter destinations and also delivers freight to more than 160 destinations globally. The fleet includes two Boeing 747-8Fs, 17 Boeing 777Fs and five Airbus A330Fs.
It July, Qatar Airways Cargo finalised an order with Boeing five B777Fs. In the same month it also added Singapore Changi Airport to its transpacific freighter route which was launched less than a year ago. The twice-weekly B777Fs arrive into Singapore from Chicago. From Singapore, the freighter departs for Macau on Tuesdays and Saturdays and onward to Los Angeles, Mexico City and Guadalajara in the Americas before arriving in Doha via Liege.