Qantas (ASX:QAN) share price soars to 52-week high on international travel update

Qantas is bringing forward its international travel plans…

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A woman looks up at a plane flying in the sky with arms outstretched as the Flight Centre share price surges

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The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is rising on Friday.

In afternoon trade, the airline operator’s shares are up 0.5% to $5.73.

At one stage today, the Qantas share price was up as much as 5% to a 52-week high of $5.97.

Why did the Qantas share price hit a 52-week high today?

Investors were bidding the Qantas share price higher this morning in response to an announcement relating to its international operations.

According to the release, in response to New South Wales reopening its international borders to vaccinated travellers next month, Qantas and Jetstar are bringing forward the restart of more international flights to popular destinations from Sydney.

The company will also launch a new route from Sydney to Delhi before Christmas. The latter represents the first commercial flights for Qantas between Australia and India in almost a decade.

Positively for stood down Qantas and Jetstar workers in the ANZ region, this development means that they will be returning to work by early December. This includes around 5,000 employees linked to domestic flying and around 6,000 linked to international flying.

This will mean all of the company’s 22,000 local employees will be back to work in December, which is well-ahead of schedule. Qantas wasn’t previously expecting this to happen until June 2022.

Pent up demand for international travel

Also giving the Qantas share price a boost were comments by its CEO, Alan Joyce, relating to travel bookings.

As foreshadowed in the recent Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) trading update, Qantas has experienced strong bookings for international travel.

Mr Joyce commented: “In recent weeks, sales on international flights to and from Sydney have outstripped sales on domestic flights, which shows how important certainty is to people when making travel plans.”

The CEO also revealed that he hopes other states will be able to follow suit in the future when vaccination rates increase.

He explained: “We hope that as vaccination rates in other states and territories increase, we’ll be able to restart more international flights out of their capital cities. In the meantime, Sydney is our gateway to the rest of the world.”

All in all, this is yet another positive development that brings Qantas a step closer to reaching profitability again.

The Qantas share price is up 16% year to date.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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