Airline rewards staff with a bonus worth more than $7,000 after posting a record profit – and even its customers can cash in

Up to 21,000 pilots, cabin crew, engineers, and head office staff at Qantas Airways are set to receive around $219 million as a thank-you bonus from their employer. 

After struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, the Australian airline, which also owns Jetstar, yesterday announced its first annual profit since 2019.

It posted a record $1.59 billion in profit before tax—an impressive comeback from last year’s $1.19 billion loss

So, staff can finally cash in their shares which were set aside in September 2021 to “incentivize the turnaround” and are worth around $3,850 each. On top of that, they’re also getting a cash payment worth about $3,200 as enterprise agreements are finalized, and a staff travel credit worth about $320, totaling almost $7,400 each.

“Our people have done a superb job under very difficult circumstances,” Qantas’ outgoing chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement. “These results show a substantial turnaround in both our finances and service over the past year.”

The company benefited from cheaper fuel costs, reduced supply chain constraints, and a surge in travel demand as the country lifted all of its Covid border restrictions last summer. 

“Flight delays and cancellations have largely returned to pre-Covid levels and we’ve shifted from heavy losses to a strong profit and pipeline of investment worth billions of dollars,” Joyce said.

Robust demand

In fact, the airline has had to adapt to keep up with increased demand for flights—but it’s a good problem to have. 

“Travel demand is incredibly robust and we’ve taken delivery of more aircraft and opened up new routes to help meet it,” he added. “We safely flew almost 70 billion more seat kilometers and doubled the number of people we carried to 46 million compared to the year before.”

Qantas isn’t the only airline to celebrate its success with its staff in the form of a “thank you” bonus. Earlier this year, Singapore Airlines gave its staff a bonus equivalent to around 8 months pay in recognition of their hard work during the pandemic after posting annual profit.

But Qantas is going one step further and dishing out rewards to its customers too. 

Thanking customers for record profit

To celebrate its record profit year and thank the customers contributing to its success, Qantas has surprised its frequent flyers with bonus loyalty points.

Customers who have flown at least one Qantas flight in the past 12 months will receive an email with their gift—the choice between 1,000 Frequent Flyer Points or 30 Status Credits. Meanwhile, those who flew 10 or more times will be awarded 5,000 Qantas Points or 75 Status Credits.

For reference, it would usually take six one-way Economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne to earn 5,000 Qantas Points.

What’s more, it’s not only Qantas’ existing customers who can cash in on the airline’s generous mood—it’s also announced a major fare sale across its network on more than one million seats to ore than 90 destinations.

Customers can nab tickets on Qantas Domestic, Qantas International and QantasLink regional flights for up to 40%, meanwhile, Jetstar fares are up to half price off. 

“Our customers have shown a lot of patience and understanding as the industry has recovered,” Joyce said. “We’ve announced a points or status credits gift today but we know the best way we can thank them is to consistently deliver the standards they rightly expect, and reinvest our profits to keep improving their experience.”

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