Australian national carrier Qantas has announced plans to add Boeing Dreamliners to its fleet after reporting a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes.
The airline suspended plans to renew its fleet when it plunged into serious financial difficulties in the downturn that led to a major cost-cutting exercise and the loss of hundreds of jobs.
However, today it has reported a return to profit amid the best trading it has seen since the global financial crash in 2008.
Helped by the financial restructuring and low oil prices, the carrier reported underlying pre-tax profit of A$975 million (£457 million), reversing a loss of A$646m a year ago.
Qantas has placed an order for eight of Boeing’s new long-haul 787s to start replacing its ageing fleet of 747 Jumbo Jets. It has a further 2 options from 2017and 30 purchase rights.
Alan Joyce, Qantas chief executive, said the aircraft order symbolised the scale of the airline’s turnaround.
He said: "We are delivering one of the biggest turnarounds in Australia's corporate history. This is the best first-half result in four years and the best second-half result in the company's history."
The company said it would return A$505 million to shareholders by paying a dividend of 23 cents a share.
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