Qantas predicts record profit, irks unions

STORY: Qantas just predicted record profits ahead - and in the process enraged its labor unions.

On Tuesday (May 23) the Australian airline said annual underlying earnings could go as high as $1.6 billion.

That is better than analysts expected, and would be around 50% up on the past record, set in 2018.

The carrier cited rising demand for travel, better control of costs, and lower debt.

But the numbers did not go down well with labor organizations.

Australia’s Transport Workers Union is currently locked in a battle with Qantas over 1,700 ground staff let go during the global health crisis.

They also object to the company’s plan to increase a share buyback programme.

Unions say sacked workers were told Qantas needed to save money.

They’ve also now called on the airline to pay back billions in state aid received during the health crisis.

Qantas says much of that money went straight to staff.

Looking ahead, the firm said high jet fuel prices remain a concern.