In its latest market update, Qantas has warned that elevated fuel costs may impact on the prices passengers pay for flights with the airline.
The news was announced on September 25, 2023, along with details regarding the Australian flag carrier’s recent performance.
According to the carrier, “fuel prices have increased by around 30% since May 2023, including a 10% spike since August”.
The airlines said this is “driven by a combination of higher oil prices, higher refiner margins and a lower Australian dollar”.
If fears are realized, then Qantas’ fuel bill will increase by approximately $128 million (AUD $200M) to $1.2 billion (AUD $2.8B) in the first six months of 2024.
“The Group will continue to absorb these higher costs but will monitor fuel prices in the weeks ahead and, if current levels are sustained, will look to adjust its settings. Any changes would look to balance the recovery of higher costs with the importance of affordable travel in an environment where fares are already elevated,” Qantas confirmed in a statement.
Qantas announced it will also invest a further $52 million (AUD $80M) in customer improvements across 2024 to address a number of customer “pain points”.
The September market update comes just a few days after Qantas CEO, Vanessa Hudson, apologized to its customers after a “humbling period” in the airline’s history.
“This is going to take time and I ask for your patience. The work is already underway. We’re putting more people in our call centers to help solve problems faster. We’re adding more frequent flyer seats. We’re reviewing all of our customer policies to make sure they’re fair. And we’re giving our frontline teams more flexibility to better help you when things don’t go to plan. That’s only the start,” Hudson said in a video statement on September 22, 2023.
Qantas has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently after it lost a legal battle with a union over the sacking of thousands of ground staff in 2020.
QANTAS WORKERS WIN! The High Court has unanimously dismissed Qantas’ appeal over the illegal outsourcing of 1700 workers.— TWU Australia (@TWUAus) September 13, 2023
This is a massive victory for the workers who have not stopped fighting for justice since they were outsourced. pic.twitter.com/0LGktEuqZm
The airline is also being sued separately by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the airline’s alleged advertisement and sale of tickets for flights it had already canceled.
The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has called for a complete overhaul of the Qanats board.