Qatar Airways Sustains Strong EBITDAR supported by Capacity Growth Despite the Illegal Blockade by its Neighbouring Countries

Qatar Airways’ annual results demonstrate the airline’s determination and commitment to growth in its toughest year in two decades

DOHA, Qatar � Following the most challenging year in its 20-year history, Qatar Airways has published its annual report for 2017/18, which demonstrates the airline’s strength and resilience in the face of adversity. Overall revenue and other operating income grew 7.22 per cent annually compared to capacity (Available Seat Kilometres) growth of 9.96 per cent. Lower revenue growth was directly attributable to the illegal blockade since 5 June 2017, which impacted departing seats by 19 per cent. Cargo revenue witnessed very impressive growth of 34.40 per cent against cargo capacity (Available TonneKilometres) growing 13.95 per cent annually.

The Group generated EBITDAR Margin of 23.0 per cent at QAR 9.714 billion. EBITDAR was lower than the previous year by QAR 1.759 billion due to longer flying time resulting from the illegal blockade and loss of departing seats from the blockading countries.

Replacing 18 mature routes, which were closed due to the illegal blockade, the airline opened 14 new destinations during the fiscal year (24 new destinations to date). New destinations come with launch costs and the necessity to establish market presence, which resulted in an overall net loss of QAR 252 million. With a positive operating cash inflow, the cash position of the Group remained strong at QAR 13.312 billion.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the illegal blockade has had on our airline. However, I am pleased to say that thanks to our robust business planning, swift actions in the face of the crisis, our passenger-focused solutions and dedicated staff, the impact has been minimised � and has certainly not been as negative as our neighbouring countries may have hoped for.

A strategic and rapid response from the airline when neighbouring countries illegally blocked Qatar’s airspace on 5 June 2017 put Qatar Airways in a position of strength from which to recover from the unprecedented attack on the country’s sovereignty. Within 10 weeks new destinations to Sohar, Prague and Kyiv were announced and launched, while other routes saw an increase in frequency and capacity, thus swiftly redeploying capacity with a view to soften the impact of being illegally blockaded from 18 regional gateways.

The airline has launched 24 new destinations in total since the start of the blockade, further expanding its network of more than 150 exciting gateways around the world and continuing its ambitious growth plans in Europe and Asia.

Against this backdrop of regional political tension, just six weeks after the start of the blockade, Qatar Airways proved to the world that its neighbours had failed to reach their objective in reducing the airline to collapse by instead winning the coveted title of ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ for the fourth time in less than 10 years. The airline also took home awards for ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.

Throughout this turbulent year, Qatar Airways has not wavered from its strategy and vision of constant growth and development to give its loyal passengers the best possible on-board experience every time they travel. As the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Airbus A350-1000 in February 2018, Qatar Airways proved once again that it leads where other airlines follow in terms of providing passengers with the latest generation aircraft available in the skies. As well as taking delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000, the airline added 20 other aircraft to the fleet throughout the financial year, increasing the total number to 213 (as of 31 March 2018).

During the financial year, Qatar Airways Group also continued apace with the expansion of its investment portfolio to include an initial 9.94 per cent stake in Cathay Pacific, which has since increased to 9.99 per cent, as well as a 49 per cent share of AQA Holding, the parent company of Meridiana fly, which was relaunched as Air Italy in February 2018.

With its business as usual approach to the blockade, the airline also continued to invest in sports sponsorships, which it sees as the ideal platform for bringing people together from all corners of the globe. Qatar Airways Group’s sponsorship with FIFA remains the core of its sponsorship portfolio, and is complemented by the addition of sports partnerships with Bayern Munchen AG, AS Roma and Boca Juniors. These sponsorships further enhance the airline’s commitment to leveraging sports as a means to connecting with passengers across its global network.

Please find below the Qatar Airways Consolidated Financial Statement:

Please find below the 2018 fiscal year annual report:

Notes to Editors:

About Qatar Airways:

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is celebrating more than 20 years of Going Places Together with travellers across its more than 150 business and leisure destinations. The world’s fastest-growing airline will add a number of exciting new destinations to its growing network in 2018, including Gothenburg, Sweden; Da Nang, Vietnam; Mombasa, Kenya and many more, flying passengers on board its modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisationSkytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat,’ ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2015 by Skytrax for the third year running. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance, oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways proudly supports a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Qatar Airways, the official FIFA partner, is the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA 2018 and 2022 World Cups, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message – Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, one of the world’s leading international air cargo carriers, serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally on more than 200 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 13 Boeing 777 freighters and eight Airbus A330 freighters.

Source: Qatar Airways