Qantas Airways proudly announced a profit before tax of
$513.1 million (13,084.05 million baht) for a six month period to 31
December 2002. Profit after tax was $352.5 million (8,988.75 million baht).
The directors declared a fully franked interim dividend of 8 cents (2.04
baht) per share.
Qantas Chairman Margaret Jackson said the result was most
pleasing, particularly given challenges and difficulties in the aviation
Jackson said, “The world’s airlines lost about $US18
billion (774 billion baht) in the 2001 calendar year. Losses are expected to
total $US12 billion (516 billion baht) in 2002. In the United States, two of
the largest carriers - United Airlines and US Airways - have filed for
bankruptcy protection. Many other carriers in the United States, Europe and
South America continue to report losses, shed staff and retire aircraft. The
performance of Qantas in this environment is a tribute to the efforts of
staff and management.”
Qantas CEO Geoff Dixons explained the result had been
achieved in difficult circumstances where domestic air fares were at
historic lows. The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics revealed
discount domestic fares were 23 percent cheaper than three years ago.
Qantas has grown some 50 percent domestically to meet the
market demands flowing from the collapse of Ansett. Considerable resources
are being put towards major upgrades and improvements.
By the end of this financial year, Qantas will have
invested approximately $6 billion (153 billion baht) on new aircraft,
in-flight entertainment, seating and other product initiatives since the
collapse of Ansett.
Dixon said while all areas of the business had
contributed to the result, the improvement of the international operations
International operations earnings before interest and tax totaled $263.9
million (6,729.45 million baht). This compared with a loss of $15.5 million
(395.25 million baht) in the same period the previous year, which was
affected by the events of September 11.
Emirates’ SkyCargo leads the way in logistics
From February 2001, the new Emirates SkyCargo Center in
Dubai became operational. This is a custom-designed facility with an annual
through-put capability in excess of 350,000 tons. Looking to the future, the
first stage of the design and specifications is now under process for the
planned Cargo Mega Terminal which eventually will be able to handle up to
1,000,000 tons per year.
Emirates SkyCargo is the award-winning air freight
division of Emirates Airline. Established in 1985, it quickly built a
reputation for leading the industry in innovation, flexibility and service.
Today, it continues to set the standard, flying to over
60 destinations worldwide, and offering its customers a complete cargo
solutions service. Through SkyChain, the online cargo logistics system, the
cargo business works more efficiently by giving customers the tools they
need to better control their consignments.
The product range has been developed to provide customers
with cutting-edge cargo solutions. The Express Service assures on-time
delivery throughout the world, while the extensive trucking and off-line
partner networks ensure comprehensive coverage where customers need it most.
Quality is SkyCargo’s main focus, and this has been
recognized throughout the industry. Air Cargo News voted Emirates “Cargo
Airline of the Year” three years in a row, and “Best Cargo Airline to
the Middle East” for the past 14 consecutive years.
International Environment Park opened to honor Thai princess
In April, to celebrate the 48th birthday of HRH Princess
Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the occasion will be marked by the opening of a new
international environment park covering 1,800 rai of land in Petchaburi
The park is the brainchild of border police forces based
in the area, who will transform the Rama VI border police camp near the
popular seaside resort of Cha-am into the new park.
HRH the Princess has named the park -Sirindhorn
International Environment Park. The area is currently being restored, after
heavy environmental degradation was caused by the border police and by
Ten years ago HRH the King ordered that the land be used
as a case study for environmental development, and ordered the repair of the
royal residence in the area. A year later, HRH the Princess came to play
music and dine in the palace, and ordered that land be found for the
planting of mangrove forests to restore the area’s eco-system.
Describing the new environmental park as a living nature
museum, deputy superintendent of the Rama VI police training camp said that
the park would be developed into a historical and environmental tourist
“This will be of huge benefit to society, as it will
let people study from real life sources rather than only from books,” he
Development of the area is now 80-90 percent complete,
with mangrove forests interspersed with beach woodland and ordinary woodland
areas. The park’s organizers have specifically selected unusual trees for
the project, and expressed confidence that within the next 10 years the park
will serve as a valuable environmental study area.
While the park is unlikely to be finished until next
year, it will be opened by HRH the Princess this April.
The area already hosts around 200,000 visitors each year
who come to see the summer palace, one of the largest golden teak structures
in Thailand. (TNA)