Just a day later the struggling airline has revealed a “staggering” drop in revenue, Qantas will raise prices by more than 20% and cancel additional flights.
Customers will pay an additional 10% on domestic flights and 20% on overseas flights, with some trips costing passengers an additional $300.
While a ticket from Brisbane to Harbor City could drop from $269 to $295, a trip from Melbourne to Sydney would cost $250 instead of $230.
As it struggles to recover from recent blows to its image, Qantas has blamed rising prices on the rising cost of fuel and historically high rates of worker illness.
Since reopening international crossings in November last year, the airline has struggled with delays, cancellations, lengthy boarding procedures and problems handling baggage.
Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, said that in addition to a number of flight attendants, baggage handlers and ground staff, at least 320 pilots make themselves sick daily on average.
Mr Joyce said the airline lost $1.9 billion and failed to provide passengers with the kind of service they deserved on Thursday.
The Qantas CEO acknowledged the business needed to improve and blamed staff shortages on seven-day Covid isolation periods at a press conference.
All of this has led to issues that have been well publicized, including long queues, delayed flights and lost luggage, he said on Thursday.
For our workers it was quite difficult, and for our passengers it was extremely annoying.
“It just wasn’t good enough,” and we’re sorry about that.
According to Mr Joyce, the Qantas Group reported a pre-tax statutory loss of just under $1.2 billion and an underlying pre-tax loss of around $1.9 billion.
He said the flagship airline had lost more money in the past three years due to the Covid-19 outbreak than it had made in the previous five.
The CEO acknowledged that the numbers were difficult and called them “staggering”.
This brings our overall losses since the start of the pandemic to more than $7 billion and our revenue losses to more than $25 billion, the executive added.
“The previous year was difficult for everyone. It’s amazing that we were able to navigate through this.
Mr Joyce responded to demands from the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to step down as CEO at the same press conference after issuing all frequent flyers a $50 ‘apology coupon’ for the failure to meet service standards earlier this week.
He ignored the calls, saying the airline had expressed regret for its mistakes and acknowledged that Qantas had failed to meet customer expectations.
He said: ‘I believe I have received more calls for resignation than any other CEO and perhaps any other public person.
“I believe (former CEO) Geoff Dixon had it before I took the job, and I’m sure the next CEO will have to retain the same staff in order to manage or collaborate with.
As far as I know, we are the only airline that does this consistently, and we will continue to do so because it is the right thing to do.
By the end of this year, Mr Joyce predicted the airline would recover from its “staggering” losses and reach previous levels of profitability.
He said as more passengers started flying again after months of border restrictions, the airline was rushing to release additional planes from storage.
On Sunday, the CEO apologized for returning flight difficulties and provided customers with frequent flights with a $50 “apology coupon”.
In a video posted on Sunday, he complained that “too many of you” had suffered flight delays, cancellations or lost luggage in the past few months.
There are valid reasons for this, but they are not what you should have expected from Qantas.
As hundreds of people rushed to collect their sorry credits on Monday morning, Qantas’ frequent flyer website crashed, preventing them from using the benefits.
Passengers can use the travel credit when booking a Qantas return ticket.
Access to the Qantas Club or International Business Lounge is also available for frequent flyers at Silver level and above.
According to statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics, QantasLink topped the list of canceled flights in April this year with 591, followed closely by Qantas with 426.
With one in 13 Qantas flights canceled in May, that number rose to 7.6% of all flights, from 5.1% in April.