Qantas Airways' blockbuster first-half results are just the beginning, according to CEO Alan Joyce who hinted on Thursday of an even brighter outlook ahead as the impact of lower oil prices finally kicks in.
"We believe our fuel bill will be less than A$4 billion [from A$4.5 billion in the first-half] based on current fuel prices, so there should be a substantial benefit from fuel in the second-half," Joyce told CNBC on Thursday, nothing that the impact of cheaper fuel didn't come through in the first-half.
Australia's financial year starts on July 1st. For the July-December period of 2014, or first-half, Qantas posted underlying profit before tax of A$367 million, its first profit in four years and a dramatic improvement from a A$252 million loss a year earlier.
Joyce also expects a A$375 million benefit from the airline's cost-cutting Transformation Program; without it, he said the airline would have surely produced a loss in the first-half.
"We believe all of the segments, including Qantas International, which hasn't made money since the global financial crisis, will be profitable this half, but we're not going to give any outlook statement for the overall group profitability," Joyce said.
A report from UBS last month indicated that the Australian flagship carrier could post A$1 billion dollars in underlying pretax profit this financial year, and A$1.7 billion the following year.