The international arm of Qantas saw profits rise four-fold in the half year to December.
Qantas International achieved underlying earnings of A$270 million in the six months as the lower Australian dollar helped drive an inbound tourism surge.
The airline responded by adding more capacity on strong Asian and North American routes, according to CEO Alan Joyce.
Lower oil prices helped the overall Qantas Group post a record underlying pre-tax profit of A$921 million (£470 million) – up A$554 million or 151% year-on-year.
The result was the best first-half profit in the Australian airline group’s 95-year history.
Qantas secured a first-half benefit of A$448 million through effective fuel hedging, which enabled it to participate in lower global fuel prices.
The airline revealed plans for a new premium lounge to open at Heathrow in the first quarter of 2017.
“The Kangaroo Route is at the heart of Qantas’ network and London remains one of our most important destinations,” Joyce said.
“Heathrow is the right location for our next flagship global lounge and we think customers will love what we’ve got planned.”
Qantas also plans to develop an “industry-leading” Wi-Fi service across its domestic fleet in Australia.
Joyce, who also announced a A$500 million share buy-back, said: “This record result reflects a stronger, leaner, more agile Qantas.
“I’m extremely proud of our people, who are working hard to transform the Qantas Group and make flying with Qantas and Jetstar better than ever for our customers.
“Without a focus on revenue, costs and balance sheet strength, today’s result would not have been possible.
“Both globally and domestically, the aviation industry is intensely competitive. That’s why it’s so important that we maintain our cost discipline, invest to grow revenue, and continue innovating with new ventures and technology.”
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