Qantas Group has suffered a $A2.7 billion ($2.9b) statutory loss before tax because of aircraft write downs and redundancy costs and a 91 per cent plunge in underlying pre-tax profit.
The airline said that in the second half of the financial year to June 30 it had suffered a $A4b drop in revenue because of the near total collapse in travel demand due to the Covid-19 crisis and associated border restrictions.
The airline predicts resuming international air travel in July 2021, with a transtasman bubble earlier if possible.
Underlying profit before tax sunk to $124 million and this is forecast to fall deeply into the red next year.
The $2.7b loss before tax was due mostly to a $1.4 billion non-cash write down of assets including the A380 fleet and $642 million in one-off redundancy and other costs as part of restructuring the business for recovery.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the second half the financial year was the toughest set of conditions the national carrier had faced in its 100 years.
"The impact of Covid on all airlines is clear. It's devastating and it will be a question of survival for many. What makes Qantas different is that we entered this crisis with a strong balance sheet and we moved fast to put ourselves in a good position to wait for the recovery.''
At least 6000 staff had lost their jobs and about 20,000 more would be stood down for a long time. More than 100 planes had been parked, including its Airbus A380s, and its Boeing 747 fleet's retirement had been brought forward.
"Recovery will take time and it will be choppy. We've already had setbacks with borders opening and then closing again. But we know that travel is at the top of people's wish lists and that demand will return as soon as restrictions lift. That means we can get more of our people back to work," Joyce said.
Covid was reshaping the competitive landscape and that presented a mix of challenges and opportunities. Most airlines would come through the crisis a lot leaner, which meant his airline would have to reinvent how it ran parts of its business to succeed in a changed market.
Joyce said the FY20 result showed how the Covid crisis had derailed what would have been a strong financial performance.
"We were on track for another profit above $1 billion when this crisis struck. The fact that we still delivered a full year underlying profit shows how quickly we adjusted when revenue collapsed.
Covid would continue to have a "huge impact" and Qantas was expecting a significant underlying loss in the next financial year.
"Looking further ahead, we're in a good position to ride out this storm and make the most of the recovery," Joyce said.