Carrier blames the pandemic, liquidation of shares in Air Italy and boycotts by Gulf neighbors for nearly doubling the losses.
Qatar Airways has received approximately US $ 2 billion in government aid to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as the company posted significant annual losses after one of its “toughest years”.
The state-owned airline in Qatar said the combination of the pandemic, a boycott of Gulf neighbors and the liquidation of 49-percent Air Italy, which announced bankruptcy in February, has resulted in losses nearly doubling.
This brought the airline’s net loss to 7 billion rials ($ 1.92 billion) for the year ended March.
“Qatar Airways is familiar with extraordinary challenges. However, 201
The airline confirmed that Qatar has joined a list of governments that have stepped in to aid their national airlines by shutting down the coronavirus that has ravaged global travel and the aviation industry.
The airline will issue 730 million shares to the government after receiving “a 7.3 billion riyal advance” ($ 2 billion) after annual losses exceeded 50 percent of its share capital, according to its annual report.
“Without the extraordinary circumstances of the 2020 financial year, our results would have been better than last year,” said the airline’s managing director Akbar al-Baker.
According to the report, sales rose 6.5 percent to 51.1 billion riyals ($ 14 billion), seating capacity rose 3.2 percent and cargo handling rose 2.8 percent over the twelve months.
The coronavirus pandemic halted global aviation for months, but it has only accelerated again. The actual impact of the pandemic on Qatar Airways is unclear as global lockdowns continued after the fiscal year ended in March.
The pandemic exacerbated the already difficult environment for Qatar Airways.
The airline has been banned from the airspace of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt since mid-2017 after these countries imposed a land, sea and air blockade that forced them to fly longer distances.
Qatar Airways is the second largest airline in the Middle East after the Dubai-based Emirates and operates a modern fleet of 250 aircraft, some of which remain on the ground during the pandemic.
In July, Qatar won a ruling in the International Court of Justice in the fight against airspace restrictions by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
She said she would ask the Arab states to pay US $ 5 billion in compensation for closing their airspace to the airline.