Qantas launches athleisure clothing line in latest revenue-raising initiative

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen near Qantas Airways, Australia’s national carrier, Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the tarmac at Adelaide Airport, Australia, August 22, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Cash-strapped Qantas Airways Ltd on Wednesday launched a range of pricey athleisure clothes as its latest revenue-raising scheme to help weather the coronavirus pandemic.

The branded range includes A$150 ($107.46) T-shirts and A$425 cashmere sweaters designed by Australian Martin Grant, and comes after recent sold-out sales of bar carts from retired Boeing Co 747 planes and business class pajamas and amenity kits.

Qantas has grounded the bulk of its fleet and raised equity and debt to boost liquidity during the pandemic, which has seen it announce plans to cut nearly 30% of its workforce. It is bracing for a A$10 billion hit to revenue this financial year because of border closures and lower travel demand.

On Saturday, 150 passengers joined a “flight to nowhere” that took off from Sydney and flew over iconic destinations like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru before returning to the same airport.

The sightseeing flight followed similar revenue-raising initiatives by Asian carriers including Japan’s ANA Holdings and Taiwan’s EVA Airways Corp.

Singapore Airlines Ltd has turned grounded Airbus SE A380 jumbo jets into a pop-up restaurant and offered home-delivered plane food, while Thai Airways International PCL transformed the cafeteria of its Bangkok headquarters into an airline-themed restaurant.

($1 = 1.3959 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Jamie Freed. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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