Qatar Airways returned to profit in its last financial year, taking a greater share of the market for international passengers and with revenues topping pre-pandemic levels.
For the financial year to March 31, 2022, the Doha-based carrier reported a net profit of QAR5.6 billion ($1.54 billion), compared to a loss of QAR 14.8 billion for the previous year.
Revenues increased 78% year-on-year to QAR52.3 billion ($14.4 billion), which the group said was 2% higher than revenues in the last full financial year prior to the pandemic.
The airline said the improved results were down to higher passenger numbers, helped by its decision to keep flying during the pandemic, as well as its cargo operations.
Qatar Airways carried 18.5 million passengers in the financial year, an increase of 218%. The carrier noted that its share of international revenue passenger kilometers rose to 7.5% in 2021, compared to 4.4% in 2019.
“We have pursued every business opportunity and left no stone unturned as we aimed to meet our targets,” Group chief executive Akbar al Baker said in a statement.
During the financial year, Qatar Airways returned Airbus A330s and A380s to service to provide additional capacity. The airline has lost capacity due to the grounding of its A350s in a row with Airbus over surface damage.
“Our strategic investments in a varied fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft has helped us overcome the significant challenges related to capacity constraints while balancing commercial needs as swiftly as possible,” Al Baker noted in the press release.
In the cargo business, revenues rose 25% to reach a record $6.3 billion. The group highlighted that its cargo division operated a maximum of 155 flights a day at its peak in June 2021.
Rival Gulf carrier Emirates reported a loss for its most recent financial year but is expecting to return to profitability in the current year.