5001 job losses

I have another op-ed at The Conversation today suggesting that Alan Joyce (and the Qantas senior management) be part of the exodus from Qantas.

In many respects my argument seems to lay all the blame on the current management. But as Lord Keynes is often misquoted, “everything depends on everything else”. It is true that Qantas is hampered by the Qantas Sale Act, it is true that competition in the industry has become brutal, it is true that consumer preferences and tastes have changed over time. There are many good reasons for Qantas’ woes. None of that, however, detracts from the fact that the Qantas management have the obligation to manage the business in that complex dynamic environment and are ultimately responsible for Qantas’ current predicament.

The Australian flying public have been choosing to fly less with Qantas and more with its competitors over a long period of time. Now Qantas wants the Australian taxpayer to (help) reverse the consequences of those consumer choices. There may well be good reasons to do so, but before doing so the government (acting on behalf of taxpayers) is well within its rights to ask for much more detail.

That detail should include a timetable for refreshing the Qantas management, starting with Alan Joyce. He has been in the position for a long time and his vision has failed to sustain Qantas. A new perspective and fresh set of eyes is what Qantas needs over and above any taxpayer support.

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158 Responses to 5001 job losses

  1. Habib

    Even the public sector and defence have fled QF, even if their service was acceptable and their staff less surly and officious, bottom line is they’re not competitive in any field. The rank idiocy of such scheduling where they fly Dash 8 bugsmashers on routes such as BNE/NTL when Their own offshoot Jetstar flies widebody on the same route defies comprehension. They’ve deserved to go broke for a long time.

  2. A Lurker

    Last time we flew overseas we used Singapore Airlines – fairly reasonable fares, very polite cabin staff, good service, and for economy, not bad meals. The only complaint was the sardine-like seating in Economy, which meant poor if little sleep for the long trip to Europe. However I don’t think ‘cattle-class’ was unique to Singapore, as I think all airlines try to stuff as many bodies into Economy as possible.

    Qantas’ teaming up with Emirates has soured us off using Qantas for long-haul overseas flights – I refuse to stopover in a country that has such draconian rules about how a married couple may act in public – i.e. holding hands and other public displays of affection.

    If we have to use Qantas, then it will be only for regional flights not serviced by other carriers.

    p.s. If Qantas folds, then I’ll shed no tears – I’m sure whatever gaps they currently fill, will within a heartbeat, be taken over by other carriers.

  3. Habib

    I omitted good riddance, they derserve the same unlamented dissapearance as ANL. Pity the government can’t take a hint from our trans-Tasman cousins, where Air New Zealand turns a profit (despite flying into Antarctic volcanoes), and they’ve shed the atavistic concept of a government broadcaster*.

    *I omitted public from the description, because none of these fund hoovers broadcast to the public.

  4. dragon

    The purchasers of QANTAS shares accepted the sale conditions when the airline was sold from government (taxpayer} ownership in their haste for a fast buck…..If they had stuck with being the best International airline and heeded the lessons of other airline failures .kept away from trying to be all things aviation to all investors.. Domestic… cheap holiday etc they may well have found themselves not in the current mess. The responsibility for funding any recovery is totally up to those responsible and those who were only too willing to take profits as shareholders when they paid for shares IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TAXPYERS WHO ARE NOT SHAREHOLDERS to support a rescue.

  5. Habib

    And bloody TVNZ managed to come up with Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby, in the middle of the Hulun Clurk ignominy.

  6. candy

    I feel a bit sad for Alan Joyce. Everyone hates him today. No-one expected 5000 jobs to go though, it’s a bit devastating and perhaps it’s time for him to go and let Qantas move on with freeing up the company to more foreign ownership.
    Trouble is, the Senate won’t let that happen. It’s a pickle.

  7. hammy

    The Alan Joyce haters are informed by homophobia.

  8. egg_

    The rank idiocy of such scheduling where they fly Dash 8 bugsmashers on routes such as BNE/NTL

    Yup, BNE – Cairns in a DASH 8 with air pockets, such joy.

  9. Baldrick

    Joyce has had to battle the last 5 years with a Labor government that has been more interested in protecting union jobs than admitting Qantas had a problem and the same can be said for Holden, Toyota and SPCA.

    There’s one common denominator in all the recent companies announcing job losses … a heavily unionised workforce.

  10. candy

    Don’t think so Hammy, nothing to do with homosexuals. I mean, who would give toss about his sexuality?
    It’s just that 5000 is massive and devastating and how did it get to this stage?

  11. Habib

    Mind you, I used to always get bumped on QF when on defence travel, when they saw on the ticketing they had a FLTLT on board. Probably thought it handy to have a spare pilot close to the deck if the crew go Peter Graves and Kamal Abdul Jabar. Too dumb to realise that the majority of Blue Orchids have never seen a cockpit.

    Fortunately I’ve got a PPL with IFR, and could probably put a twin light onto the deck, even hook it onto the GCR/PAR without too much effort. It’s actually a lot more difficult to fly a lighty than a modern airline, they are as Bob Hawke said a long time ago glorified bus drivers. Unless shit happens, the only time they earn their dough.

  12. Mayan

    I live in Adelaide, so QF is useless internationally for me. Now I fly SQ, after flying with them or TG when living in Perth. Domestically, the Embraer planes Virgin flies in and out of the backwater called Adelaide is so much nicer than the other planes, so three cheers for living in a backwater.

    Qantas has nothing to offer me. If they did, I’d feel and behave differently. It’s that simple.

  13. Baldrick

    hammy
    #1206777, posted on February 27, 2014 at 9:22 pm
    The Alan Joyce haters are informed by homophobia.

    Wow … that one came way-out of left field.

  14. Jelly Belly

    I overheard a woman speaking not long ago about her son who had just got a job as a part time baggage handler with Qantas and I am sure she said that him and his immediate family would be entitled to a 95 % discount on flights. Does anyone know if this is true or did I not hear correctly. ( I admit my hearing is a bit dodgy)

  15. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    My own Hairy Irish Ape has a lot of sympathy for Alan Joyce, and it is not to do with ethnicity. It is to do with some of his own experiences at having to run profitable businesses hindered by recalcitrant unions and some very antique enterprise bargains and workplace expectations. My HIA is Mr. Turn-it-around too (not with anything as big as Qantas I hasten to say) but given the nature of the Qantas playing-field and having one hand tied behind by the unions, Joyce was always in a difficult situation. Operationally (wrong planes in wrong places), I just can’t comment, nor on the Asia push with Jetstar, but calling for firing may not be very fair – Joyce himself tonight in his 7.30 interview pointed to his good profit figures for much of his tenure so far. The impression of a new broom of course is what people are looking for – and many a good man has had to fall on his sword for this. I think Joyce is tough though and that he should tough this one out. He did a good interview tonight.

  16. Habib

    Egg, every pothole, and twice as long in a cabin that makes an Oberon sub seem roomy. And more expensive. We only think it’s better now because it was so bloody dreadful with Ansett/TAA in no competition. I prefer to fly to TSV on a bloody C130. Did today up, and back on an MRH90. Better service, and both left on time.

  17. Leigh Lowe

    I agree Hammy.
    Any attack on the performance of Joyce (and 78% of the male Trolley-Wallies) is homophobic.

  18. egg_

    Habib, yeah even the tray tables had trouble staying ‘in an upright position’. ;)

  19. candy

    I think Joyce is tough though and that he should tough this one out. He did a good interview tonight.

    Those 5000 job losses is a really big deal though, Lizzie.

  20. will

    I overheard a woman speaking not long ago about her son who had just got a job as a part time baggage handler with Qantas and I am sure she said that him and his immediate family would be entitled to a 95 % discount on flights. Does anyone know if this is true or did I not hear correctly. ( I admit my hearing is a bit dodgy)

    Permanent Qantas employees are entitled to something like a 95% discount on airfares both inside Australia and overseas. The overseas travel discounts and which airlines are available for the discount depends on length of service and status in the company. They still pay taxes and charges. It is a substantial benefit, and has been available for many years in the industry. For example, you can upgrade to business for only a few dollars. Often people will seek employment with an airline to get these discounts. Full paying passengers have seat preference, so staff can be bumped.

    Permanent staff can nominate a companion who is also entitled to this benefit.

    Close family members can also get a discount, however it is nowhere near generous as the employees discount.

  21. Gab

    Those 5000 job losses is a really big deal though,

    Over three years and most will be gagging to take the redundancy money and get out of there fast. Lets not get over emotional.

  22. Habib

    Staff discount used to be 95% on long haul, don’t know about short. I think fringe benefits killed off domestic discounts, however they were only filling empty seats, like deadhead crew. Trap for young players as well, you were wait-listed on all flights, and if fully booked you were bumped. If you didn’t turn up for work you’d be docked- this was back in the ’80s.

  23. Milton Von Smith

    You seem to assume that in the counterfactual without Joyce Qantas would be in a better position. But it’s not obvious that’s the case.

  24. Sinclair Davidson

    Not assuming that at all.

  25. Ed

    I like Joyce because he tried to take on the unions.

    Unlucky for him that the government of the day was militantly pro-union. I wonder, if he had won that battle, and then had the courage to take on other battles, whether the outcome would be different.

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    most will be gagging to take the redundancy money

    ???

  27. Habib

    Without the unions (and a heap of lazy ex RAAF blackhanders), and the repeal of the QF sale act QANTAS would be in a better position. Add in obnoxious cabin crew and check in jockeys, and a huge sense of entitlement, they might recoup some of the pax market. What’s being ignored is the fact that QF controls about 90% of on ramp cargo handling, are shit at it, charge extortionately, and are still losing dough says a lot about their management.

  28. candy

    I like Joyce because he tried to take on the unions.

    He did, and the workplace issues are there, but he did it at the inconvenience to his customers, who were left stranded.
    The customer should come first, and maybe he’s left a bad taste in people’s mouths over that particular phase.

  29. Habib

    QF were bollocks long before Joyce, he’s the least of their problems.

  30. Jelly Belly

    Thanks for that info so maybe my hearing wasn’t that off

  31. politichix

    candy
    #1206851, posted on February 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm
    I like Joyce because he tried to take on the unions.

    He did, and the workplace issues are there, but he did it at the inconvenience to his customers, who were left stranded.
    The customer should come first, and maybe he’s left a bad taste in people’s mouths over that particular phase.

    Seriously?

    What about the drip fed torture the unions imposed on the customers over the many months preceding? I was travelling the day qantas was grounded and was just glad someone had the balls to take it to the unions.

  32. JC

    Credit Suisse doesn’t like their cost cutting plan. They’ve lowered their target price to 97 cents.

    Cost outs underwhelm, outlook deteriorates (again); downgrade to Underperform

    2H14 operating conditions about to deteriorate further: With management guiding 2H14 domestic capacity growth to +3% to +4%, on top of the weakest January domestic load factor in the history of our data set, we see Qantas’s operating outlook deteriorating again in 2H14. We have materially lowered PBT forecasts from $543mn to $853mn
    .

    Structural cost outs lacking: While management ha s detailed $2bn of cost- out initiatives, excluding the $600mn benefit from structural redundancies, we see the remaining $1.4bn as largely an inflation hedge
    over the next three years, meaning only a small incremental improvement to the underlying cost base. We
    were left underwhelmed by cost – outs and believe more needs to be done in fundamentally addressing cost base differences in Domestic and International.

    Asset sales likely needed for Qantas to fund its way through 2H14 operating conditions and restructure charges. Given deteriorating operating conditions, we now see 2H14 asset sales as a necessity to avoid
    an equity raising though we note some kind of Government liquidity backstop as an equally likely outcome.

    Investment view
    :
    With underlying operating conditions still likely to get worse before they get better,
    coupled with disappointing cost-out initiatives, we do not see compelling valuation until all cost outs are absorbed and the market stabilizes in FY16
    .
    As a result, we lower our target price to $0.97 per share
    (from $1.21), resulting in an UNDERPERFORM rating (previously Neutral)

  33. Nanuestalker

    I think I just read Sinc’s version of the Denuto argument. Go full mOnty next time. :)

  34. sabrina

    Well put Sinc, one of your best argued piece in the recent times. Let him try to get a job at another airline.

  35. JC

    I think you’re right Sinc. It’s time for Joyce to leave the airline and let someone else give it a try.

    My hunch about the lack of aggressiveness on the cost cutting side is that they have something from the government they are letting on.

  36. Squirrel

    “Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    #1206820, posted on February 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    My own Hairy Irish Ape has a lot of sympathy for Alan Joyce, and it is not to do with ethnicity. It is to do with some of his own experiences at having to run profitable businesses hindered by recalcitrant unions and some very antique enterprise bargains and workplace expectations. My HIA is Mr. Turn-it-around too (not with anything as big as Qantas I hasten to say) but given the nature of the Qantas playing-field and having one hand tied behind by the unions, Joyce was always in a difficult situation. Operationally (wrong planes in wrong places), I just can’t comment, nor on the Asia push with Jetstar, but calling for firing may not be very fair – Joyce himself tonight in his 7.30 interview pointed to his good profit figures for much of his tenure so far. The impression of a new broom of course is what people are looking for – and many a good man has had to fall on his sword for this. I think Joyce is tough though and that he should tough this one out. He did a good interview tonight.”

    Lateline (yes, I know) had an informed observer who noted that Qantas’ average staffing cost is more than double some of its major overseas counterparts, and still somewhat higher than Virgin. Same observer mentioned 14(?) unions to negotiate with through a complex bargaining process. After years of supposed enterprise bargaining reforms, starting with Keating, this is not a pretty picture, and puts into perspective the emotional huffing and puffing from union officials.

    More broadly, I hope the Government calls the bluff of the Labor/union movement – are they now turning their backs on a couple of decades of opening up the Australian economy? If so, will it be across the board winding back, or just in selected cases, and even then, who will pay and how will we rationally and fairly decide which cases are helped/protected? The bewilderment of those affected is understandable (up to a point) but I don’t think the rest of world will allow a relatively small economy like ours to run a blatant “have your cake and eat it too” approach to international competition.

  37. candy

    But what happens as the Senate blocks change to Sale Act and lifting the restrictions, as Bill Shorten and also Clive Palmer are against it.
    Whatever Qantas could salvage, the Senate is going to drive it to the ground because of some emotional thing of the red kangaroo.

  38. steve

    I am fully aware that all of the layoffs recently have involved Union workplaces with ridiculous workplace agreements. I feel a certain degree of “chickens coming home to roost” about this. Am I wrong to almost look forward to the next one of these feather-bedded industries die? Am I wrong in thinking that these workers who have earned much more than their qualifications entitle them to live off their own coin until they find another job. Am I wrong in wondering how many other unqualified workers would love to have had the opportunity to bleed the company they work for dry? Really, get out there and find another job like the rest of us have to and if you want a highly paid job, do what the rest of us did and spend a few years at school after hours. Screw you all.

  39. CR

    You are not wrong Steve. Agree with everything you have said.
    I have some faith that things are changing and us that have had to adapt constantly in our lives whilst witnessing those who don’t, will be happy to see this change. It is called personal responsibility.

  40. JohnA

    And over-arching all of this short-horizon stuff is the longer-term picture of the whole airline industry, which busts in the first half of each decade, and booms in the second half.

    But QF does have a problem with aircraft types – ye gods 14! Is that worse than Ansett? And do they therefore suffer from the same problem, overmanning and under-utilisation in maintenance, with excessive investment in spares, training, compliance etc?

  41. Habib

    John A, you have it summed up. Their maintennence is run like a defence SPO, because that’s where their blackhanders are sourced. Their ground handling is run by TWU thugs. They are doomed.

  42. A H

    Nice article, but what was with the interventionist part at the end with the suggestion that the government should bailing out Qantas with provisos. Is this sort of statist apology part of your scheme to get libertarian views into such outlets as the Conversation and the ABC? It’s a bit like needing a union ticket to work on a construction site, isn’t it?

    It’s pretty obvious from the rest of the article that if bad management is replaced with good management then that will lead to an increased share price. Therefore any Qantas investor would be looking at the same sorts of provisos that you suggest the government should require.

    So what’s the point of making it political? Get rid of the Qantas sale act and let the investors change the Qantas management. And if the investors do not effect the appropriate changes then it will be the investors will lose out… ie the people who voluntarily invested in Qantas, not those poor bastards (us) who are robbed under the guise of ‘taxation’ in order to fund some politically advantageous nonsense.

  43. Peewhit

    Unfortunately the customer does come first. Unless you are in a position to say, yes the customer does come first, but you are no longer a customer. It all depends on which stage of the customer relations position you are on. The other thing is if you are supplying a better good or service. Quantas seems to be providing neither.

  44. Ripper

    ???

    The redundancy money will be like wining lotto to the long term senior staff.

    That would be more attractive to a lot of them than hanging around and taking a pay cut.

    That is why Holden, ford Toyota Qantas are doomed

  45. GC

    This might sound silly, but Qantas lost me as a customer for good when they removed pork products from their menus early last year. I’m a fairly regular flyer and I know I’m not alone in this protest to move our custom elsewhere. Pandering to a minority group of their customers was a bad business decision. I want bacon included in my breakfast when I fly.

  46. Grigory M

    obnoxious cabin crew and check in jockeys, and a huge sense of entitlement

    Derogatory comments like this remind me of those that are often made about Aldi and the quality of its products, where the criticism is undeserved.

    In 25 years of flying, both long-haul and domestic, I have always received courteous and helpful service from Qantas staff, both on the ground and in the air, and have never observed a “sense of entitlement”.

  47. Andrew of Randwick

    Without reading all the MSM reports has there been any information on which Management Consulting company Joyce is using? Because you don’t do such a transformation without outside help., even including the 5,100 versus 4,900 or 5, 300

  48. A Lurker

    This might sound silly, but Qantas lost me as a customer for good when they removed pork products from their menus early last year.

    It’s not silly. Every day consumers make choices about how they spend their money based on issues as simple as yours. We are customers, it is within our right to change our minds and withhold our money from companies we no longer agree with. The loss of your breakfast bacon was likely due to the merger with Emirates and kowtowing to Islamic cultural values. I could understand no bacon on an Emirates flight, but on Aussie Qantas – nah, thin edge of the wedge time.

    Likely most of Qantas’ issues do stem from a plethora of reasons, including poor management and crippling Union interference, but I think the partnering with Emirates was the final straw for many Australians. We last flew overseas a few years ago, and because we were on a budget we had to make a choice between flying Aussie and paying through the nose, or flying Singapore Airlines which has a good rep, and paying a little less. Were we to fly overseas again soon our decision would be a lot easier since Qantas would not be a contender this time around.

  49. Beertruk

    Habib
    #1206821, posted on February 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm
    I prefer to fly to TSV on a bloody C130. Did today up, and back on an MRH90. Better service, and both left on time.

    Best I did in a Heculdercle was Amberly, Richmond, Darwin, Singapore and Butterworth. Took three days. And a serviceable MRH90?..noice.

  50. iamok

    I fly up to 20 times a year and have not flown QF in 4 years by choice. Over priced, over officious, under friendly. Sad for the 5000(1) but poor customer service coulda shoulda been dealt with years ago.

  51. GC

    Yep …. Not only did I lose my bacon, but any food with alcohol in it.

    “Qantas …… The Spirit of Islam” –

  52. GC

    Oops try again with hat link fly with the Mosquaroo

  53. James

    GC, tell us how you really feel.

  54. Andrew of Randwick

    Adele Ferguson has no idea what management consultants do – and they should sue her for this slight.

    But the root of the problem is overcapacity and Qantas is a big part of that problem. It has been flinging more and more capacity at the domestic market to maintain its 65 per cent line-in-the-sand market share against rival Virgin Australia. In its announcement on Thursday, it said it will continue to lift capacity in the domestic market from 1.4 per cent in the first half to between 3 and 4 per cent in the second half of the financial year despite yields and revenue falling.
    .
    This kind of consultant-type thinking on market share while the business goes to the dogs goes a long way to explaining why the domestic Qantas business shrank in profits from $218 million in the first half of 2013 to $57 million in the first half of 2014. If he stopped putting capacity onto the market, profits would rise – and rise fast.

    Those consultants that went in last July will have done the org design, process mapping, the workload drivers, thus the number of people required – hence Joyce use of exact number 5,100. BCG was always popular down at Mascot – but perhaps not for this one.

  55. Rabz

    Just let it die, FFS.

    Then Joyce can start looking for another job along with the rest of those lazy union turkeys.

  56. Joe Goodacre

    Qantas has a heavily unionised workforce.

    Last time Joyce took them on, Qantas was grounded and the brand damaged.

    It’s always a question of the available alternatives – where is the evidence of a successful CEO busting through a heavily unionised, ex-government owned business when it’s competition is not subject to the same legacy arrangements? I can’t think of any other.

  57. Uh oh

    So just how much is 5,000 jobs worth in terms of lost Union fees?

  58. Joe Goodacre

    I’m undecided on guaranteeing Qantas’ debt.

    I was firstly against it, on the basis of the shareholders being aware Qantas would be subject to the limiations of the Qantas sale act when they purchased it.

    It has been pointed out to me (correctly I have since conceded), that Virgin/Tiger Airways were not competitors at the time of privatisation and that shareholders would have had the reasonable expectation that any new players in the aviation industry in Australia would be subject to the same restrictions as they were. The fact that they weren’t is great for consumers, but is unfair to Qantas shareholders.

    I’m not sure what the solution is, however there are many precedents where we compensate businesses that have been hampered by government policy which did not apply to other businesses.

  59. Joe Goodacre

    Candy,

    The mantra ‘the customer always comes first’ sounds nice on a Hallmark card with the customer Christmas hamper, but misses many of the realities of business:

    a) to serve a customer long term competitively, you may have to take short term pain to break union strangulation – unfortunately Qantas weren’t able to do that without it being publicised all over the media, and dramatically impacting flights for a period; and
    b) some customers are not worth keeping.

  60. Old School Conservative

    Do the Qantas cutbacks in multiple operational areas (e.g. marketing) mean I can go back to calling my favourite rugby team the Wallabies?

  61. incoherent rambler

    obnoxious cabin crew and check in jockeys

    +1

    They lost me a long time ago for the same reasons.

  62. Fibro

    Joyce going………absolutely.

    Sat on his arse for 5 years watching the international division suck the life out of the business. Any peanut in business woudl have started shutting of routes, deferring planes and tightening costs years ago. What does the git do? Grounds the airline and ensures that it loses even more money. Good one.

    The domestic business is strong, will remain strong and makes money. Par it back, get back to profit overall and re-grow. It’s not that f’ing hard is it?

    And as for their marketing dept…….piss them all off. What is the one record that Qantas holds in the WORLD. Zero crashes and deaths. What message does the punter get? Miranda Kerr or some other overpaid tosser parading around the Qantas Lounge. FMD.

  63. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    I think Joyce should go, but for slightly different reasons.

    The Qantas CEO’s job is an impossible one: increase profitability at an airline staffed by a combination of legacy and overpaid public servants on the one hand and Neanderthal unionised labour on the other, an airlne which Australians don’t want tampered with at the same time as they refuse to patronise it, and the capital structure of which is hobbled by ancient and outdated clauses designed to keep it ‘Strayan’.

    And when the CEO has acted to loosen these constraints – starting Jetstar, muscling up to the unions, asking the government to loosen the binding on the capital structure – the loud mouthed hippies, none of whom have done anything more difficult than shuffle paper and make cups of tea – have bitched and moaned and wailed.

    You could see Joyce’s incredulity with this country’s degree of unreality when he squared up to Dougie Cameron in the senate hearing, soon after the grounding of the airline. Cameron was as usual acting like a pork chop. You could see Joyce thinking ‘What is wrong with these people??’

    So, Alan, I think you should leave. I think you should take your money, give these ungrateful pratts the two-fingered salute, wash your hands of them and, from a luxury villa somewhere pleasant, enjoy every minute of the downfall of the whole, disgraceful rent-seeking edifice.

  64. johninoxley

    Haven’t flown Q.F. since the 70,s when the unions went on strike, stuffed my travel arrangements. Every unionist that gets sacked is fine by me. These bastards get huge redundancy payouts. I know how to save my job….. I’ll go on strike!. If these mongrels had shit for brains it would be an improvement. Start the sackings today.

  65. .

    Grigory M
    #1207097, posted on February 28, 2014 at 4:30 am
    obnoxious cabin crew and check in jockeys, and a huge sense of entitlement

    Derogatory comments like this remind me of those that are often made about Aldi and the quality of its products, where the criticism is undeserved.

    In 25 years of flying, both long-haul and domestic, I have always received courteous and helpful service from Qantas staff, both on the ground and in the air, and have never observed a “sense of entitlement”.

    I have never seen anyone who has ever shopped at Aldi complain about anything except their older versions of “deli meat”.

    I’ve never had anyone complain about their meat or dairy, which is excellent.

    You are the first person I know who rates Qantas on those parameters. I think you’re a rare bird.

    I was treated rather poorly once because I had the temerity to ask for my meal after other passengers had finished theirs. On the other leg, I was treated scornfully because I asked for my cup of coffee etc.

  66. johanna

    Joe Goodacre, when Telstra was privatised it had exactly one competitor – Optus. Now it has hundreds.

    Because of its market dominance, Telstra to this day is required to do a bunch of things that its competitors are not, at its own expense. It is still making healthy profits and is still the dominant market player.

    While the two industries are not exactly the same, they have a lot in common, including a heavily unionised workforce and a lot of $$ tied up in capital investment.

    Qantas should certainly be freed from its shackles, but its Board and management must take a hefty share of the responsibility for their current woes. It is not just a matter of the playing field being less than level. Why should taxpayers grant them favours that were not granted to Telstra just because they have failed to keep up with the competition?

  67. JohnA

    On Andrew Bolt’s blog, I have commented on the problems faced by Joyce and the board, to wit the strong expansion of international seat capacity by QF competitors.

    I note that this expansion occurred across the last five years or so.

    And I asked the question: which government agreed to the expanded landing rights for all those foreign airlines, at the expense of the national flag carrier? Hmm?

  68. A Lurker

    Q. Can we have Mr. Gormsby for PM?

  69. Leigh Lowe

    Due to a number of shitty (but not disastrous) experiences, I avoid Qantas like the plague.
    And the fares!
    I recently checked a couple of First/Business fares on a number of airlines and when I got to the Qantas website I was pleasantly surprised that the bottom line looked OK …. until I discovered that I hadn’t correctly selected “2″ as the number of passengers.
    Yep … the good news is that the QF fare for one pax is below that for two fares on other airlines.
    It is our national fucking joke.

  70. Tom

    Sinc, your thesis at the Conversation is ignorant gibberish that does not propose a coherent strategy for fixing the airline. You propose what the leftard howler monkey pack is baying for — sack Joyce and/or Clifford — without a replacement strategy. One of the cornerstones of your “argument” is to quote feral Qantas hater Ben Sandilands who has campaigned daily on behalf of the Qantas unions for Joyce’s sacking for the past five years. Parking aeroplanes, as JQ HK has done, is just one of the things you have to do to get an air operator’s certificate — no big deal and quite affordable, nothing like the hysterical ignorance being pedalled by Sandilands. Even his own readers at Crikey realise he is a lackey for his mates in the Qantas pilots union and have been giving him plenty of stick for his increasingly unhinged and irrational “analysis”, which has become one long attempted gotcha. I don’t think Clifford will abandon Joyce — nor should he. The government also can’t be a party to the deceitful sleight of hand of Virgin’s sham ownership structure to wage war on Qantas with one of Qantas’s hands tied behind its back using cheap money from foreign government-backed airlines. Abbott has this right. In the meantime, stay out of corporate arguments you don’t understand and stop writing pouty Qantas product reviews dressed up as “analysis”, like everyone other two-bob knowall in this country.

  71. Bear Necessities

    Let it fall over if it does come to that.

    Other airlines will come in and take the domestic and international travel that QANTAS has. There is not a worldwide shortage of them.

    It is a bit sad from a personal perspective due to my Great Grandfather having the first ticket when the airline was formed in North Queensland approximately 90 years ago. He put in some start up capital to get the airline off the ground and in return he got the first ticket.

    But life goes on……….

  72. dan

    Qantas’ teaming up with Emirates has soured us off using Qantas for long-haul overseas flights – I refuse to stopover in a country that has such draconian rules about how a married couple may act in public

    Well at least the couple can choose not to hold hands I guess.
    Several of my relatives can’t even enter Dubai due to the passports they hold. I can, but if the flight was diverted due to a sandstorm and we land in Bahrain or Saudi, I would be…I don’t know, sitting in a transit lounge for a day or two, or sent back home. Certainly Qantas weren’t able to tell us. No coincidence that Singapore Airlines starting taking out full-page ads in the local Jewish paper each week and many of the frequent flyers I know switched immediately.

    More importantly, our booking from before all that was rerouted through Dubai, so I was looking at Melbourne-Singapore-Dubai-London-Geneva rather than one stop in Asia. Well I think via Singapore, at the time they couldn’t even tell me. It’s completely insane and union issues are only part of it.

  73. Tom

    which government agreed to the expanded landing rights for all those foreign airlines, at the expense of the national flag carrier? Hmm?

    Governments of both brands have been applying an open slather policy to foreign airline competition, as a strident rejection of the protectionism of Qantas which had been slavish in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Joyce said yesterday:

    For the past five years Australia has been hit by a giant wave of new airline seat capacity from foreign airlines.
    • Qantas International capacity has grown by 2.9 per cent since 2009.
    But competitor capacity into Australia has grown by 46 per cent over the same period, in contrast to global growth of less than half that rate.
    In this full financial year alone, international market capacity growth in Australia will be nine per cent.
    • Domestic capacity has also surged, with capacity growth of 18 per cent by the Virgin Group since July 2011, compared to eight per cent by the Qantas Group.

    That is a vastly different story from the ant-Qantas propaganda being run by the unions and the Fucktard Media Industrial Complex, much of it loaded with xenophobic anti-foreigner poofter-bashing against Joyce.

  74. johanna

    It’s no different from SPC facing competition from cheaper and better “foreign” tinned tomatoes. What Joyce has failed to do is explain how Australian consumers are better off if there is less competition against Qantas.

  75. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Well done Tom. Thankyou.

  76. Grigory M

    You are the first person I know who rates Qantas on those parameters. I think you’re a rare bird.

    Perhaps a mythical bird, Dot, because that’s not how I rate Qantas (or its staff). The Aldi reference relates solely to how I rate Habib’s comment about Qantas staff.

  77. Sinclair Davidson

    Tom – so the share price dropping yesterday when Joyce announced he wasn’t resigning, and the market value of 45c per invested dollar on the books? All not true? Part of a campaign to get rid of Joyce?

    Firing the senior management after a stuff-up like this is just a box to be ticked. Qantas haven’t, yet, ticked that box.

  78. Up The Workers!

    I hear that Qantas will be ditching the “flying kangaroo” logo on all its aircraft and replacing it with a silhouette of a gay leprechaun riding a flying “Piggy” whose large snout is embedded in a well-filled trough.

    I wonder how much all the publicity will be Wirth, Olivia?

  79. Tom

    Getting rid of Joyce will not make an ounce of difference to the company’s outlook. The insitutionals are almost as skittish as the mums and dads and they control the share price. Costs have to be taken out of the business. In spite of this, customer service and customer relationship sentiment as measured by internal Net Promoter Scores have been rising sharply since Joyce opened the customer service crew training academy in Sydney around 2009. The old loathed hit-and-miss QF customer service is being abolished. The loudest mouths pontificating about Qantas don’t fly QF.

  80. Sinclair Davidson

    The loudest mouths pontificating about Qantas don’t fly QF.

    While this may well be true as a generalisation it isn’t in my case. Sorry.

  81. Infidel Tiger

    I notice that even 61% of Fairfax readers wanted the Qantas Sale Act repealed.

    That’s incredible.

  82. Joe Goodacre

    johanna,

    Comparing Telstra to Qantas is an interesting task – its management appear to have adapted well to the decline in fixed line revenue and the influx of mobile phone competitors.

    I’m not sure what run the unions have of Telstra, or the percentage labour is of their overall costs and labour’s impact on productivity and overall profitability.

    It may also not be possible to compare a business like Telstra which isn’t impacted to the same extent by the Australian dollar and varying passenger demands (i.e. most people who own a phone, may change networks but they will continue to own a phone). In contrast if the dollar drops, people may travel less. So management is attempting to forecast capital expenditure worth hundreds of millions against unpredictable traveller patterns – I suspect that the task is not as onerous with mobile phone usage. Telstra is also a beneficiary of an $11 billion agreement with NBN to use it’s assets. As these assets were facing increasing competition from wireless and satellite sources, whether the compensation agreed was reflective of their market value is questionable as well.

    I don’t know enough about it, but it is an interesting comparison nonetheless.

    One thig to separate though – Joyce needs approval from the board for his plans. He may have wanted to act sooner, but as hamstrung. It’s easy to sit back and look at the consequences now and say we could have sliced the cake better. The task of attempting to turn around a company the size of Qantas with its legacy problems with unions is certainly a poison pill, and one I’m not sure could have been done better.

  83. Joe Goodacre

    Sinclair, the share price can drop for any number of reasons:

    a) the job losses aren’t fast enough or broad enough;
    b) the subsequent union reaction suggesting they may fight the changes; or
    c) the government softening talk on guaranteeing Qantas debt.

    It’s wishful thinking to think a compelling link can be drawn between short term changes in the share market and any particular person or action in the case of Qantas – there’s simply too many factors at play.

  84. At the core of Qantas’ problems are bad decisions made about fleet mix during the last ten/fifteen years.
    No 777s.

  85. Tom

    Keep your nose out of issues you don’t understand, you old derro simpleton.

  86. brc

    I find qantas staff to be ok for the most part, but I have struck bad crews. My first international flight was with qf and the staff even let me ride the jump seat for a while – great memories there of an era sadly gone.

    But flying back from the us about 5 years ago there was a surly American cabin crew of the sort you get on American or united, but wearing QF uniforms – gone are the liberal sloshes of wine if you look like you’re enjoying it, and gone is the laid back attitude.

    I think they have turned the corner on staff but as noted, the virgin ground crew and cabin staff always beat qf, always.

  87. Joe Goodacre

    Tom,

    What do you think/propose?

  88. Keep your nose out of issues you don’t understand, you old derro simpleton.

    Post after post containing anecdotes about surly staff are deep and meaningful, but anything containing a skerrick of analysis is dismissed because it’s posted by someone who doesn’t share your one-eyed view of the world.
    Grow up…..

  89. blogstrop

    Management decisions and their quality can’t be drafted in to act as a smokescreen for wage agreements which have been too high for too long in too many industries. Work Choices set out to change the system, but it was shot down because the whole union farce was on the chopping block.

  90. harrys on the boat

    Fuck off Bob, this thread has some good discussion points and doesn’t need you derailing it.

  91. Tom

    Joe, all our knowall armchair airline experts think QF should abandon its Boeing 787/Airbus A380 fleet strategy because QF, being mind-readers, just should have known that delivery of both types would turn out to be up to five years late. In the 787-9, which QF has optioned with advance delivery slots as soon as QF international justifies the investment, QF has a future fuel-efficient new-tech widebody capable of flying Sydney-LA non-stop in combo with the A380. The knowalls are saying QF’s detailed technical evaluation of the types was rubbish and should be thrown out so QF can substitute a bandaid solution of introducing 777s into the fleet. And massive new investments in another type should be made for QF International when it is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. These people to a man are people who don’t know what they are talking about, who have never had responsibility for fleet planning decisions or for running a large business. There has not been a single piece of sound informed commentary on Qantas fleet strategy published in the past week.

  92. AH

    @Joe Goodacre

    “It has been pointed out to me (correctly I have since conceded), that Virgin/Tiger Airways were not competitors at the time of privatisation and that shareholders would have had the reasonable expectation that any new players in the aviation industry in Australia would be subject to the same restrictions as they were. The fact that they weren’t is great for consumers, but is unfair to Qantas shareholders.”

    Yes, government interference is hard to predict, isn’t it? So the answer here is to remove government interference, so that people can base their reasonable expectations on market activity, and not try to second guess the arbitrary decisions of government. Let’s not correct government interference with still more government interference.

    To further this point… why should shareholders get the benefit of government protection? Why should shareholders expect the government to protect them? This is does not even satisfy the standard of ‘democracy’… there are less QANTAS shareholders than there are airline customers…

    Another angle here… if you are a small time shareholder investing in a government protected company… you should understand that the success of your investment hinges on government action… therefore you should pay attention to government and if government decisions go against you, then you should adjust your investment accordingly.

    But… the suggestion that vested interests should be justified in lobbying government in order to obtain favourable policy ( and, especially in this case, which goes beyond abstract principle, which is at the expense at everyone else… because even if you don’t personally fly on planes, the cost of air travel and freight does affect us all in some way or other )…. that’s simply economic fascism and unequivocally not libertarianism.

  93. There has not been a single piece of sound informed commentary on Qantas fleet strategy published in the past week.

    Informed commentary about Qantas fleet choice has been uniformly critical for a very long time.

  94. AH

    The constitution should be changed so that all Australians are free from having the government protect/subsidise/favour/benefit other Australians at their expense.

  95. Tom

    Numbers thinks pilots, Crikey and the ABC are sources of expert commentary on airline fleet strategy. LOL. You should write an an expert op ed on the subject for Dogshit Today or your own unread cyber wasteland, My Uncle Ho.. It never ceases to amaze me that the most unteachably stupid individual I have entercountered on the web is a fucking schoolteacher.

  96. Joe Goodacre

    Thanks Tom – do you think these fleet choices will continue to play out over the next 5 years, or are their changes they can make to their fleet configuration in the short term?

    What weight would you place on unions in their current situation?

  97. Joe Goodacre

    AH,

    I’d agree that the first step is to remove government interference.

    Removal of the Qnatas Sale Act restrictions though won’t solve problems overnight. It takes time to deal with these staffing issues and to reallocate capital away from Australian maintenance operations. It was unfair that those restrictions were not imposed on other competitors when they entered the Australian industry – fat lot of good repealing the restrictions if they go belly up before they could realistically benefit from removing the interference.

    To look at it another way, if the restrictions imposed on Qantas were immedietely imposed on Virgin (another way of levelling the playing field), it would take them years to transition to those new arrangements. Obviously I don’t want to restrict Virgin in that manner – the example is used to show the lack of realism that recognises that there is an unlevel distortion in the market and the simple fix is the removal of that distortion.

    I think that your other angle is not applicable to the case of Qantas.

    The government interference restricted the free operation of Qantas. That is different from benefitting from a government imposed monopoly. It is the absence of regulating new competitors in the same way that is the issue – not that Qantas shareholders have witnessed government remove a monopoly that was unfairly bestowed.

  98. Leigh Lowe

    I see Albo flashing his new fangs on telly informing us that “every country has a national airline”
    Riddle me this.
    What is the “National Airline” of the USA?

  99. Numbers Tom thinks pilots, Crikey and the ABC are he is a source of expert commentary on airline fleet strategy. LOL. You Tom should write an an expert op ed on the subject for Dogshit Today The Fart of the Nation or his own your own unread cyber wasteland, My Uncle Ho Thoughts from somewhere to the Right of Genghis Khan . It never ceases to amaze me that the most unteachably stupid individual I have entercountered (sic) on the web is Tom.
    FIFY

  100. Gab

    Just ignore the numbers idiot otherwise the thread ends up being all about him and not the topic of the thread. Just a suggestion…

  101. Tom

    Joe, QF don’t need to change their fleet strategy again — future needs can be met from three different versions of the 787 — the smallest, the 787-8, which Jetstar is taking, the larger long range 787-9 (capable of SYD-LAX) and the still larger 787-10, complemented with the A330-300/200 which are phasing out the 767-300. It’s a good, simple low-cost strategy. The missing ingredient is QF International profitability. Removing costs from the business is the number one priority and that means breaking the strangehold of the unions. If Qantas customers are not prepared to pay a price premium to use the carrier (which they’re not), then Qantas can’t afford the unions, which are responsible for QF’s 20-30% operating cost disadvantage compared with major international competitors. One way or another, Qantas’s engineering/piloting/ground handling task is going offshore if it is not internationally price-competitive — in a way that Qantas designs it or with competitors.

  102. Nanuestalker

    Just ignore the numbers idiot otherwise the thread ends up being all about him and not the topic of the thread. Just a suggestion…

    True. It also doesn’t help that Sinc has some weird “Daddy issues” when it comes to old Spud.

  103. Grigory M

    Just ignore the numbers idiot otherwise the thread ends up being all about him and not the topic of the thread. Just a suggestion…

    Seconded.

  104. Gab, I am as entitled as anyone else to comment.
    Any thread derailment is caused by those who react to anything I post by ad hom attacks.
    Of the posts above, the only ones off-thread are these ad hom attacks, including the last one from you.
    Engage with the ideas, not the person, and you’ll end up with a thread which might, as the blog intends, educate, entertain, and inform.
    I’m surprised it has to be pointed out.
    It’s obvious.

  105. johanna

    Joe, until relatively recently Qantas was effectively a government owned monopoly for international flights, and part of a cosy duopoly for domestic ones. Access for international carriers was heavily restricted. Then Ansett fell over and Qantas inherited most of their domestic customers while not having to do a thing.

    The fact is, there is a long standing culture of easy money there (as there was in Telstra) but they have failed to adapt to market realities over the years, when the real world of competition finally began to affect them. Domestically, they have been overpriced and sloppy for years. Internationally, as soon as people had access to alternatives, they discovered that regional competitors like Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines offer not just cheaper prices, but better service as well.

    There is no doubt that the current management and Board inherited a lot of problems, but they are well paid to fix them. Where were they when the conservative parties were trying to reform industrial relations? Why were they not forging alliances with other industries, and within their own, to withstand union bullying? Why is it only now that they are publicly drawing the connection between the restrictions in the legislation and their commercial viability?

  106. brc

    I see Albo flashing his new fangs on telly informing us that “every country has a national airline”
    Riddle me this.
    What is the “National Airline” of the USA?

    Virgin Atlantic calls itself the national flag carrier for the uk after BA stopped putting the union jack on its planes, and virgin started.

    The list of national carriers reads like a list of state-owned loss makers. Find it on Wikipedia.

  107. Ed

    Where were they when the conservative parties were trying to reform industrial relations?

    Bingo.
    Them and a whole lot of other businesses, for whom we should have no sympathy when the proverbial chickens come home to roost.

  108. Nanuestalker

    I think the much maligned asia wings of Jetstar will be instrumental in QAL’s recovery as the airline reduces its international costs. I suspect that Jetstars international joint-ventures are being set up to take over the QAL international routes as they close. This I also suspect is the government deal JC alluded to, whereby QAL subsidiaries will be confirmed in legislation to be free of the QSA.

  109. Tom

    Gab, if you (and Lizzy and Philippa and others) want an indication of the scale of the dementia into which poor old Capn Spuds is descending, you should pop in for a look at the window-licking catatonia directed at the Doomlord this morning over at Dogshit Today.

  110. Ed

    Having a national airline is just jingoistic nonsense. The fact that most countries fall for it isn’t anything in its favour. Heaps of countries want to have the Olympic Games too, for similar foolish reasons.
    If you want to boost national pride, build a fucking bridge.
    Or an airport or a big dam. Something useful and impressive.

  111. Infidel Tiger

    What is the “National Airline” of the USA?

    Pan Am.

    They haven’t made a loss in decades.

  112. Nanuestalker

    Weren’t PAN AM famous for multiple stopovers and one-way tickets? :) (Too soon?)

  113. Infidel Tiger

    We don’t even have a national beer or footy code and we are crying about an airline? Fuck off.

  114. Joe Goodacre

    Interesting points Tom – thanks

  115. JohnA

    Infidel Tiger #1207451, posted on February 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    What is the “National Airline” of the USA?

    Pan Am.

    They haven’t made a loss in decades.

    Naturally:

    “Pan Am was forced to declare bankruptcy on January 8, 1991. Delta Air Lines purchased the remaining profitable assets of Pan Am”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_American_World_Airways

  116. Nanuestalker

    Interesting points Tom – thanks

    It’s a pity Spud is allowed to shit his jellybeans everywhere. I was interested in reading your and Tom’s comments.

  117. Gab

    You mean the US doesn’t have a National Airline?! How have Americans survived since 1991?!!11!!!!

  118. Leigh Lowe

    What is the “National Airline” of the USA?

    Pan Am.

    They haven’t made a loss in decades.

    Give that Tiger a cigar!
    Exactly my point.
    They fucked up.
    They failed.
    And the US public shed barely a tear.
    We need to grow up.

  119. Joe Goodacre

    johanna,

    Qantas was privatised in 1993 with the restrictions of the Qantas Sale Act.

    Yes they benefitted from foreign competition being kept out, but they were also restricted by the provisions of the sale act. Furthermore the opportunity to own the airline has been available to everyone.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen compelling arguments as to why it is reasonable for Qantas to fail or succeed on it’s own when foreign competition was allowed in (i.e. Virgin in 2001), yet the restrictions of the sale act weren’t repealed, nor were they applied to those competitors.

    The days of Qantas shareholders earning above market earnings (the opportunity to own this monopoly being open to anyone who cared to buy their shares) were over some time ago as their results have been unsatisfactory for many years now.

  120. Leigh Lowe

    Of course, the posturing from the ALP about dirty chinks getting their hands on the flying kangaroo is just a smokescreen.
    The real reason is protection of Union maaaates.
    The Qantas Sale Act is a minefield of union protectionism and poison pills for investors. Without the Australian employment quotas which lead to indolent numbskulls with the IQ of a Queensland teacher pulling $80 -$90k as a baggage handler Qantas would be able to compete.
    Tony Sheldon has no doubt had a chat to a few Parliamentarians about pre-selection in the last 24 hours.
    Although, when the Royal Commission is finished with him, that sort of lobbying may become more difficult when he is restricted to one phone call per week.

  121. .

    Infidel Tiger
    #1207457, posted on February 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm
    We don’t even have a national beer or footy code and we are crying about an airline? Fuck off.

    Lulz…

  122. Infidel Tiger

    I read a commnet by a Dutch guy yesterday talking about how grateful he was when Air France bought KLM. It meant the French taxpayer had to pick up all KLM’s losses instead of the Dutch taxpayer.

  123. Tintarella di Luna

    Although, when the Royal Commission is finished with him, that sort of lobbying may become more difficult when he is restricted to one phone call per week.

    That would be soooo beautiful, even if it doesn’t happen I’m gonna dream it, Gillard clapped in irons in the laundry, Shorten in the bakery, Howes in upholstery, Bruce Wilson in the kitchen, he’s already getting practice in as a short-order cook, Williamson in bumpers. There are so many uses to which these pilfering pillocks can be put, especially with the excellent new centre of industries up at Cessnock Gaol.

  124. Tintarella di Luna

    Oh how could I forget Thommo, I’m sure there’ll be a very special place for him with Bubba

  125. johanna

    Joe, have a look at the regulatory burdens on Telstra, which competes against (inter alia) Optus/Singtel, and then tell me why Qantas is a special case.

    Telstra’s competitors are not obliged to provide a telephone service to anyone, anywhere in Australia who wants one. They do not have the price of their local calls capped irrespective of the real cost. They do not have to appear before Senate Estimates to be grilled by opportunistic politicians who are briefed by unions. And so the list goes on. But they got on with building a viable business despite all that.

    Sorry, I don’t weep for Qantas.

  126. “I read a commnet by a Dutch guy yesterday talking about how grateful he was when Air France bought KLM. It meant the French taxpayer had to pick up all KLM’s losses instead of the Dutch taxpayer.”

    Airlines are an enormous money pit… and the more money you have the deeper the pit gets it appears…

  127. stackja

    Does this mean unions want less members?

  128. harrys on the boat

    National carrier? For Queensland and the Northern Territory maybe. And I’d wager those 2 couldn’t give a shit either.

  129. Gab, if you (and Lizzy and Philippa and others) want an indication of the scale of the dementia into which poor old Capn Spuds is descending, you should pop in for a look at the window-licking catatonia directed at the Doomlord this morning over at Dogshit Today.

    Not me, matey. Got my hands full today already with the Problem Souls.

  130. Grigory M

    Sorry, I don’t weep for Qantas.

    Nor should you. Qantas is not dead yet, despite all the gloom and handwringing of the MSM and various so-called aviation experts over the past 24 hours. Come back in 5 years time when the necessary paring of costs has been fully implemented, the A380s and 787s are flying long-haul routes, and (hopefully) labour costs have been reduced by cross-fertilization of awards with Jetstar thus leading to overall cost and fare reductions, both international and domestic.

  131. Gab

    Wonder how many AWAs Qantas has vs Jetstar vs Virgin. Anyone know?

  132. Infidel Tiger

    Qantas has 54 different agreements with 16 different unions.

    It’s very straight forward and makes for smooth running of what is a very high margin industry.

  133. Gab

    I have heard Qantas has over 200 AWAs and Jetstar about 7 but not sure if that is correct

  134. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It’s very straight forward and makes for smooth running of what is a very high margin industry.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Tell that to the CEO.

  135. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Nor should you. Qantas is not dead yet

    Agree, Grigory. Another point about the changes is that much of the attitudinal problem will have been removed or reformed by that time. No longer will old Qantas harridens throw packets of nuts at passengers too far away to reach. In fact, in recent years, even in economy, I have had nothing but smiles and very good service from staff (as have others); a strong contrast to the fling-it-at-’em days.

  136. harrys on the boat

    That’s unlike IT to underplay the fuckwittery of the left and unions.

    Why don’t they do what they know best. Set up a new company, say, Qantas International. Is City Flyer a separate entity in terms of dodging union proliferation? If not, another new company, say, Qantas Domestic. Let Qantas go bankrupt and QI and QD could then pick up the pieces, to rapturous applause, by offering shareholders in the old Qantas like for like holdings.

  137. johanna

    Special kudos need to go to the baggage wreckers handlers.

    I had a glorious moment of schadenfreude a few years ago, when I was at a meeting in Melbourne with the wife of a senior Qantas executive, who had flown in from Sydney. She was a very smart dresser, with designer everything up the wazoo and Louis Vuitton luggage (nice lady, though).

    Anyway, just as she arrived in Melbourne, one of those almighty cloudbursts hit just as they were unloading the luggage. The Qantas handlers, poor little petals, weren’t wearing their wet weather gear, so they scurried back to the terminal, leaving the partly unloaded luggage on the tarmac. Her cases, and clothes, shoes and handbags were soaked by the time she got them, a good 45 minutes later.

    She was furious, but apart from a limited amount of compensation, she got no redress.

    Qantas is an equal opportunity trasher of customer goodwill.

  138. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    So, Alan, I think you should leave. I think you should take your money, give these ungrateful pratts the two-fingered salute, wash your hands of them and, from a luxury villa somewhere pleasant, enjoy every minute of the downfall of the whole, disgraceful rent-seeking edifice.

    On a bad day of Turning Things Around, my own Hairy Irish Ape comes home thinking like this.

    I charm him out of it. We still need da money. :)
    Couldn’t charm anyone at British Airways from leaving my luggage to soak in British rain though, Jo.
    Plus after that, they lost it for three days. I had to make do with Marks and Sparks in the interim.

  139. Joe Goodacre

    johanna,

    Being an emotional response, whether to weep or not is largely an irrelevant question.

    The question is whether on an objective level whether the situation is fair or not.

    Even if we take the point (which seems highly suspect) that all the challenges facing Qantas are no different to the challenges facing Telstra and say Qantas has inferior management to Telstra, what bearing does that have on the fairness of competitors have been allowed to enter Qantas’ market without being subject to the same restrictions?

  140. johanna

    Joe, how many times do I have to say it. Consumers are completely left out of the argument you are pushing. One unfairness doesn’t deserve another, I agree, but that is not the point.

    The point is, lots of businesses have to put up with unfairness. Qantas has been happy to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds over many years. Recently, they have discovered that the government has changed and are just running another rent-seeking game.

    If they are a basically sound business, as some here claim, then all they should be asking for is removal of the stupid restrictions in the Qantas Sale Act and any other regulatory impediments that affect their viability. They should also be fighting union corruption tooth and nail – which they have conspicuously failed to do.

  141. Gab

    Virgin has posted a $84m half-year loss.

    I’m just wondering what sacking Joyce will actually achieve? Will it get rid of their carbon tax bill and the AWAs?

  142. Leigh Lowe

    I’m just wondering what sacking Joyce will actually achieve? Will it get rid of their carbon tax bill and the AWAs?

    Yes.
    Can those calling for Joyce’s head on a plate please propose an alternative CEO and explain how he/she would be the silver bullet to solve the featherbedding unions, the restrictive Qantas Sale Act and the carbon tax lead in the saddlebags.
    In fact, Joyce’s sacking would simply embolden Sheldon, Purvinas and co to further fuck the company over.

  143. johanna

    Gab, all their competitors pay the carbon tax as well for fuel purchased in Australia.

    AWAs are individual agreements – it is the union workplace agreements that are the problem.

  144. Pickles

    I worry about the domestic tourism industry as I reckon it is totally dependent on cheap airfares. If QANTAS goes under then will not Virgin and who ever replaces QANTAS reinstate the old Ansett/QANTAS duopoly and ramp up fares to a level that means profit?

  145. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I’m just wondering what sacking Joyce will actually achieve?

    A new CEO who is not up-to-speed at a critical time. Input to the new CEO from a lot of aspirant wannabees pulling him every which way, and lots of game-playing with the new boy by fired-up unionists on a legal roll clutching their EB’s. Plus ten minutes of hopey-changey goodwill.

    A bad deal unless a very cogent critique of Joyce’s decisions can be sustained. Which it can’t.

  146. Nanuestalker

    I’m just wondering what sacking Joyce will actually achieve?

    “It’s just… the vibe… of the thing” – Sinc

  147. Tom

    I worry about the domestic tourism industry as I reckon it is totally dependent on cheap airfares. If QANTAS goes under then will not Virgin and who ever replaces QANTAS reinstate the old Ansett/QANTAS duopoly and ramp up fares to a level that means profit?

    Yes.

    The knowalls cheering for John Borghetti to smash the Irish poofter who’s taking on the Qantas unions by using an ownership warehousing trick to defeat the majority Australian ownership provisions of Air Navigation Act (which designates who has flag carrier status for international air services) haven’t got that far yet. One rent-seeking anti-government campaign at a time.

  148. Leigh Lowe

    Qantas a much loved icon?
    Really?
    Every time I have been forced to fly Qantas in recent times, I have been invariably confronted with a sullen, surly tired old Flight Attendant with poorly applied caked-on make-up and wearing a uniform that was probably a good fit about ten years ago.
    And the women are not much better.

  149. Infidel Tiger

    I worry about the domestic tourism industry as I reckon it is totally dependent on cheap airfares.

    The tourist industry that needs cheap airfares so it can sell people $12 beers and $45 steaks with a surly attitude?

    Fuck ‘em.

    Australia has the only tourism industry outside of France that hates people.

  150. Leigh Lowe

    Australia has the only tourism industry outside of France Paris that hates people.

    I have found the restaurant prices and service in regional French cities to be superior to Australia by a long way.
    For example, they don’t charge you three times the bottle shop price to separate a cork from a bottle of vin rouge.
    Paris, on the other hand …..

  151. Infidel Tiger

    It’s really quite tremendous what’s happening at the moment. Every shitty unionised industry in this country is going to the wall faster than a horny homo.

  152. Leigh Lowe

    Talk about a minnow getting way more attention than it deserves.
    Qantas as a market capitalisation of $2.6 bn (or the same value as about 6-7 big jets).
    Some comparators:-
    Cochlear is bigger.
    QBE is five times the size of QAN.
    CSL is 12 times as big.
    QAN is about 5% the size of Telstra in market cap.
    It would take 50 Qantas’ to be equivalent to market leader CBA.
    If it sinks there will barely be a ripple in real terms

  153. Joe Goodacre

    Johanna,

    I agree that someone is left out. If we provide a debt guarantee, the taxpayer would be left out.

    You have mentioned that Qantas benefitted from a monopoly position. I don’t deny that. Since those shares were traded in a competitive environment, the premium received by taxpayers for the sale of Qantas would be reflected the future potential profits of that monopoly. We have been unjustly enriched as taxpayers at the expense of those who bought shares (that all were able to buy), paid a premium for the monopoly position they were receiving (less the restrictions of the Qantas sale act) and then proceeded to watch their monopoly disappear but the restrictions remain. Since taxpayers received a monopoly premium for the sale of the airline, and the benefit of lower fares when that monopoly was removed with the new competitors being bound by a different cost structure then that appears to me a case of unjust enrichment at the expense of Qantas shareholders.

  154. johanna

    Taxpayers are not the same as consumers, Joe. And neither is the same as shareholders. They may intersect, but their interests are not the same.

    Nobody promised Qantas shareholders a guaranteed return at the expense of taxpayers and consumers, although that is what Qantas management and shareholders would prize above all else.

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