Qantas beefs up guidance

Australia’s go-to airline, Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) has kept investors happy after advertising a bold $150 million profit guidance jump to $1.45 billion, preparing itself for the upcoming holiday season uptick.

Sending company shares back to levels that haven’t been seen for over two years, investors have been quite happy with the second upgrade in less than a month.

The recent series of upgrades is the airline preparing themselves for a bumper holiday season following travel restrictions that saw consumers stuck inside for the majority of the past few years.

Setting up for a strong first-half and preparing for a season of consistent revenue, the airline has bumped its guidance an optimistic 11% from $1.3 billion to today’s $1.45 billion.

As inflation hikes and the cost-of-living follows suit, clearly some eager travellers haven’t been deterred. Wanting to explore and return back to normal, it comes as no surprise that many Australians are willfully forking out extra cash just to afford the holiday that they’ve been desperate for since the beginning of the pandemic.

Harnessing the holiday bump as travellers return to the skies, Qantas has been warming up their operations to capture as much of it as they can by pivoting its strategy focus from growth to profit, going hand-in-hand with today’s announcement.

So to set its course and shift focus, the airline stated that it will increase capacity next year to meet further demands expected to continue well into 2023. Highlighting this with a $200 million investment, the airline will onboard extra staff to cope with the larger levels and will have more planes on standby in case of urgent replacements.

“The $200 million investment…will help maintain these levels during the latest wave of COVID infections in the community and into the busy Christmas period, as well as limiting the impact of extreme weather (especially wind) in November,” stated in today’s release.

While still struggling to recover from the effects of the pandemic and remaining 30% below pre-pandemic levels, QAN shares jumped 6% today in the wake of the announcement where it achieved a 52-week high to sit at $6.18 at the time of writing.