Opinion- Alan Joyce

Sydney | Published on 29th August 2014 at 8:29

“There is never a shortage shortage of views on Qantas and we saw that yesterday when we announced our financial results.

“I recognise that the headline losses for last financial year are confronting. But we are through the worst of a tough period, and we are working towards a brighter future.

“The six years I’ve been Qantas CEO have coincided with one of the most turbulent periods in global aviation.

“I’m passionate about getting this company on the right track for the 21st century and when you look closely at yesterday’s result it is clear that our transformation plan is working.

The Qantas airlines – domestic and international – have some of the best customer satisfaction ratings in our history. There is a Qantas Frequent Flyer member in every second Australian household. And we’re doing the hard work to take out costs that date back to the time when Qantas was owned by the government.

“The vast majority of last year’s headline loss comes from an accounting change, or writedown, to the value of Qantas’ international aircraft.

“In reality, Qantas hasn’t ‘lost’ a single cent as a result of this change.

“Let’s look at the good news – and there is a lot of it.

“Costs are down, thanks to the big changes we’re making to the way we do business.

“Our fleet of aircraft is the youngest it’s been in 20 years. That means even lower costs and a much more enjoyable experience when you fly with Qantas or Jetstar.

“All our research shows that our customers rate Qantas’ service better than ever, something backed up by a string of awards we’ve won this year.

“TripAdvisor, Wotif, Skytrax and others rank Qantas as Australia’s favourite domestic and international airline – and we keep investing in our aircraft, our lounges and the best of new technology.

“We have $3 billion of cash in the bank, we’re paying back debt, and our finances will get stronger over the year to come.

“Most importantly, we expect Qantas to be back in profit in the first half of this financial year.
“There’s no doubt last year was a tough one for Qantas. The price we pay for jet fuel in Australian dollars was higher than ever and competition was fierce, as it is in so many other Australian industries.

“That’s the reality we face – the world has changed, and Qantas needs to change with it.
“Qantas has served Australia as national carrier for more than nine decades, through wars, natural disasters, financial crises, and economic downturns.”

“I believe my vision for Qantas is shared by many other Australians – a strong, iconic national carrier, here for the future.

“Everything I do – and everything our 30,000 passionate employees do – is about making sure that this great, iconic Australian brand succeeds and prospers for another 90 years and beyond.”