Qantas has suffered a $100 million hit to first quarter earnings after the unexpected closure of several state borders in July.
Chief executive Alan Joyce on Friday said he had expected domestic services to be operating at 60 per cent of pre-COVID levels at this stage.
Yet the border closures, which include Queensland and Western Australia, mean domestic capacity is operating below 30 per cent.
Mr Joyce told shareholders at Qantas’ annual general meeting that if Queensland opened to New South Wales soon, he expected domestic capacity to improve to up to 50 per cent.
The airline aims to save $600 million this financial year to stay viable. It’s cut 6000 workers, is likely to cut 2000 ground handling crew, and has stood down 18,000 staff.
Chair Richard Goyder took a swipe at the Queensland and Western Australian governments, which are yet to open their borders and allow visitors.
These decisions did not seem based on health risk, according to Mr Goyder, and ignored the economic and social risk of keeping borders shut.
He said the lifting of restrictions with New Zealand was encouraging, and identified some Asian countries Qantas may be able to fly to early next year.
These were Korea, Taiwan and some Pacific islands.
The airline will also reduce its board by two people, from 10 to eight directors, to further reduce costs.
The national carrier last month said it would consider relocating and downsizing its Australian offices and aviation facilities to lower costs further.
The annual general meeting will require shareholders to vote on board appointments and executive pay, including whether to approve Mr Joyce’s salary at $2.17 million, plus incentives.
He and other executives took a pay cut last financial year due to the impact of the pandemic.
Shares in the airline were up by 2.26 per cent to $4.53 at 1116 AEDT.