At the time of writing, the Qantas share price has edged 1.40% lower to $4.58.
Yesterday, ABC revealed that Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has “warned staff to brace for the potential of renewed stand downs, as closed borders and lockdowns smash domestic travel.”
Why the Qantas share price is under pressure
ABC reported an email to Qantas staff saying:
… the airline said it was running around 90 per cent of pre-COVID capacity before Sydney’s lockdown took that to around 60 per cent.
Now, adding in the Victorian and South Australian lockdowns,the Qantas boss said the airline had reduced domestic capacity to less than 40 per cent of what it was pre-COVID.
Mr Joyce said he was hopeful that lockdowns would end soon, allowing the airline to get back up to 60 per cent of pre-COVID domestic capacity by August and 80 to 90 per cent by spring.
The commentary from ABC is in stark contrast to Qantas’ most recent market update on 20 May.
The upbeat update said that the company was on track to reach 95% of its pre-COVID domestic capacity in the fourth quarter of FY21. The outlook was even more positive for the new financial year.
“Qantas and Jetstar expect to average 107 and 120 per cent respectively of their pre-COVID domestic capacity in FY22.”
In addition, to meet both present and future demand, Qantas advised that it brought all domestic aircraft back into service.
The ABC report looks like an effective 180 to Qantas’ positive market update.
With major states including Victoria, Sydney and South Australia in lockdowns until the last week of July and increasing concerns about the delta variant, the Qantas share price might have to buckle up for increased volatility in the near term.