‘Job not done’: Qantas promise to customers

Qantas has delivered a $1.25bn half yearly profit. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

Qantas has delivered a $1.25bn half year profit under the reins of its new CEO Vanessa Hudson, as the airline commits to putting the customer front and centre once more.

The half yearly report ending December 31 stated its profits were down from $1.43bn in the previous corresponding period.

Statutory profit after tax was $869m, down 13.2 per cent, while the company recorded a net debt of $4bn.

Qantas has delivered a $1.25bn half yearly profit. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

The dip is on the back of the company spending more on fuel costs and investments.

Ms Hudson said Qantas was continuing to work on making improvements based on the feedback the company had received from its customer base.

“We’re really proud of that result, it’s a really good result,” Ms Hudson said.

“Airfares have come down but we’re also investing in our customers.

“There’s a lot of work happening to lift our service levels and the early signs are really positive.

“Our customer satisfaction scores have bounced back strongly since December and we have more service and product improvements in the pipeline.”


Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson said the airline was committed to improving its services. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

Ms Hudson said the company’s had the mindset of “job not done” and she promised customers will continue to return to the airline after a tumultuous few years post Covid-19 restrictions.

“You’re our most important assets, and I’ll never forget that,” she said.

“We’ll return Qantas to the trust and pride we’ve enjoyed before, we have started.

“We know it’s a journey but we’re seeing the results, we’re seeing the satisfaction returning.

“We have to keep going, we have to consistently keep going.

“It’s not just these next six months but for the years and years ahead.”

Improvements to fleet announced

Qantas also launched its newest aircraft, the narrow body A220, which will have the capacity to fly to every destination in Australia.

They’ll will take to the skies from March 1, replacing QantasLink’s Boeing 717 fleet.

The aircraft feature 137 seats, including 10 in five rows of business class and 127 in economy in a 2-3 configuration.

It will also be ordering an extra eight A320s after already committing to 20 aircraft which will replace the 737s.

Qantas is also adding new Boeing 787s and A350s to their fleet, which will have the on-board wi-fi installed.

The airline will be accelerating its wi-fi rollout providing customers with fast and free wi-fi on-board international flights by the end of the year.

Jetstar will also introduce on-board wi-fi on its international wide body fleet from 2026.

Ms Hudson said the airline will also be working on a major upgrade to its digital platforms to help streamline travel experience on the ground.

“Having the financial strength to keep investing is key, and that makes the strong performance that all business units had in the first half so important,” Ms Hudson said.

“We understand the need for affordable air travel and fares have fallen more than 10 per cent since peaking in the late 2022.

“At the same time, we’ve seen a cost benefit from fewer cancellations and delays, and scale benefits as more international flying returns.

“Our people have been instrumental in the initial recovery we’re seeing and I thank them sincerely.”

Alan Joyce quit his role as Qantas CEO in September. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard

Ms Hudson’s tenure came after former CEO Alan Joyce sensationally quit the role two months earlier than planned last September.

His resignation came after the airline carrier faced public backlash after allegations it sold tickets for “ghost flights” and lobbied the federal government to reject Qatar Airways’ bid to increase flights to Australia.

Ms Hudson said she has spent the last six months in her role as CEO hearing what customers have to say.

“I’ve done a lot more listening than talking,” Ms Hudson said.

“In our aircraft, in our airports but also the in the investments we’re making to bring the breath of our customer into everything we do.

“I’ve been doing more acting than promising. I think that’s also really important.”

Ms Hudson said the company has also put on an extra 100 staff across the network to serve customers better when calling the helpline.

She said customers were now getting through to an operator in a “matter of minutes not a matter of hours”.

She said she has a digital board above her desk telling her the current hold times.