Australia's Qantas returns to profitability in first quarter, says CEO

Qantas Airways said on Friday it had returned to underlying profitability in the first three months of the financial year. -- PHOTO: AFP
Qantas Airways said on Friday it had returned to underlying profitability in the first three months of the financial year. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Qantas Airways said on Friday it had returned to underlying profitability in the first three months of the financial year, as it benefited from its strategy of containing seating availability to drive up fares.

Chief executive officer Alan Joyce told Qantas's annual general meeting that passenger loads and profitability were up both domestically and internationally.

"Preliminary figures indicate that the group has made an underlying profit before tax for the first quarter of financial year 2015," Joyce told the meeting, according to notes published by the Australian Securities Exchange.

Qantas reported an underlying net loss of A$646 million ($564.86 million) for the year to June 30.