(Bloomberg Opinion) — You may not have thought it three months in the past, when the unfold of Covid-19 compelled Qantas Airways Ltd. to halt worldwide flights and drove its shares to their greatest proportion drop in eight years. However a worldwide pandemic might wind up being excellent news for the corporate.Australia’s dominant airline is now one thing near a monopoly participant. Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd., its erstwhile native rival, went into administration in April. Whereas restricted flights are nonetheless working, it’s unlikely to supply aggressive competitors till a rescuer comes alongside, and presumably a while after that. That’s a lucky place to be in. For carriers world wide, home operations are inclined to do higher than worldwide ones, since competitors is normally weaker whereas shorter distances supply productiveness advantages. This benefit is accentuated by the coronavirus, which has roughly shut down cross-border aviation on a worldwide foundation.Few carriers have as spectacular a redoubt as Qantas can boast in Australia. Only a handful of home markets are bigger by way of passenger visitors. Of these, solely India and Japan have an airline on a par with Qantas by way of dominance, and most have suffered far worse from the virus.The corporate’s place is more likely to be additional solidified by a A$1.9 billion ($1.Three billion) capital elevating introduced Thursday. Should you assume that is some kind of determined rescue transfer, take a look on the slim low cost — simply 3.3% or so to the day prior to this’s share price, when you account for dilution from issuing new stock.The benefit for airways within the present disaster is that whereas the trade’s fastened prices are famously excessive, a variety of them aren’t almost as fastened because the time period would recommend. About 60% goes towards gas, route and touchdown charges, in addition to upkeep and depreciation, which is just incurred to the extent that flights are literally working. The A$8.2 billion that Qantas expects to save lots of over the approaching 12 months quantities to about half of typical annual prices. Solely A$600 million of the whole will come from the troublesome enterprise of restructuring, with a lot of the financial savings ensuing from easy expedients like burning much less gas.The worldwide enterprise that might be most severely hit accounts for lower than 20% of revenue in yr, regardless of making up almost half of Qantas’s seat capability. Resisting the temptation of unprofitable abroad growth is a method we’ve lengthy urged on Chief Government Officer Alan Joyce.Idling its gas-guzzling, hard-to-fill A380s — one other measure introduced Thursday — can also be lengthy overdue. Qantas shareholders have a behavior of welcoming fleet writedowns, just like the cost of as much as A$1.four billion that can consequence from that call. In each areas, the coronavirus is offering the right alternative to do what Qantas ought to have been doing anyway.Getting by means of the approaching years isn’t going to be a cakewalk. Australia nonetheless wants worldwide flights, however capability on that entrance is anticipated to be half of typical ranges within the yr by means of June 2022. Even so, the nation stands likelihood of returning to one thing resembling regular home aviation visitors before every other main airline market, with the attainable exceptions of China and Japan. Not like Asian rivals which have been elevating cash to make it by means of the pandemic, similar to Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Korea Air Traces Co., and Singapore Airways Ltd., Qantas has a considerable home market to fall again on whereas cross-border aviation is in hibernation. And in contrast to its U.S. rivals, similar to American Airways Group Inc., Southwest Airways Co., and United Airways Holdings Inc., it faces neither fierce competitors nor a profound illness burden at house.No airline would need the coronavirus disaster on itself, however Qantas is healthier positioned than most to experience out this epidemic. “Qantas never crashed,” as Dustin Hoffman’s character as soon as mentioned in “Rain Man.” That appears to be as true now because it was then.This column doesn’t essentially mirror the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its house owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist protecting commodities, in addition to industrial and shopper firms. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg Information, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Monetary Instances and the Guardian.For extra articles like this, please go to us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to remain forward with probably the most trusted enterprise information supply.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.