Qantas boss Alan Joyce says the airline is benefiting significantly from the falling price of fuel and is confident it will help the national carrier return to profit.
However, it is not expected to have a direct effect on bringing fares down.
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Joyce said lower fuel prices were a boost the airline’s bottom line.
“We are seeing significant benefit coming through on fuel and that will help our international business get back into profits and it will help Qantas invest in the customer,” Mr Joyce told reporters in Sydney.
He said fierce competition between carriers, not dropping fuel costs, was putting downward pressure on airfares.
“It is competition that is the big driver of airfares both internationally and domestically,” Mr Joyce said.
He said the lower Australian dollar had also provided numerous positives for the airline, including that more Australians would probably travel domestically rather than take a trip overseas.
“Because we have only 18 per cent of the international market but 65 per cent of the domestic market we get a bigger benefit associated with that,” he added.
The upbeat talk from Mr Joyce comes after Qantas posted a net loss of $2.8 billion for 2013/14.
It has forecast an underlying profit of between $300 million and $350 million for the first six months of the 2014/15 financial year.
– with AAP