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Australia's Qantas airline reports $2.6 billion loss

 
 
 
 
 
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Australia’s national carrier Qantas has posted an annual net loss of 2.6 billion dollars last year.

The airliner on Thursday posted the full-year net loss of 2.64 billion US dollars in 2013-2014 in its worst performance. The figure is much worse than expectations as analysts initially predicted the company to report an underlying pre-tax loss of about 700 million dollars.

Qantas’s international division reportedly made a loss of 465 million dollars, more than double that of a year ago. The company attributed the loss to a restructuring program costing almost 2 billion dollars, and a 2.6-billion-dollar write-down of its fleet of Boeing jets. The airline also said increased competition, record fuel costs and subdued consumer spending were partially to blame.

The Australian Services Union (ASU), however, blamed Qantas’s management for the demise of the airline, which was once one of the world’s most profitable.

“We think that the board and senior management of Qantas needs to take responsibility for the result,” ASU vice president Ingrid Stitt said.

The huge net loss comes after Qantas announced cutting 5,000 jobs from its 32,000-strong workforce during the first quarter of this year as part of a tough restructuring move.

Following a profit warning in December last year, credit rating agencies, Moody’s and S&P, both downgraded Qantas’ credit rating to junk status. The struggling airline has since been working on its finances to convince Canberra it deserves a debt guarantee.

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