Qantas has posted a record statutory profit after tax of $1.03 billion for the 2015-16 financial year, the best result in its 95-year history.
Underlying profit came in at $1.53 billion, in line with expectations, compared with $975 million in the previous financial year.
“Qantas is stronger than ever,” chief executive Alan Joyce said during a press conference.
There is good news for investors. After a hiatus of seven years, the airline will pay a dividend of 7 cents per share. It also announced a share buyback of up to $366 million.
Mr Joyce attributed the recovery to the company’s transformation program — a divisive scheme that resulted in cost cutting and mass redundancies.
In an effort to get staff back on side, the company will reward 25,000 staff with a one-off bonus of $3000.
It is a dramatic improvement in fortunes for Mr Joyce. Only two years ago, he delivered the company’s worst-ever result: a record $2.84 billion net loss for financial year 2013-14.
In 2014, The New Daily interviewed leading business and aviation figures, most of whom said the Irish-born executive should step down.
Qantas’ former chief economist Tony Webber said Mr Joyce’s “time is up”. And former General Motors senior executive Ian Deveson said he had “deep reservations” about Mr Joyce’s leadership.