On a night like this: Qantas CEO hints at female successor during celebration speech

On a night like this: Qantas CEO hints at female successor during celebration speech

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has hinted once again his time at the top of the airline is coming to an end.

He’s also signaled that his replacement could and should be a woman.

Speaking to a crowd of around 1000 under the wing of an Airbus A380, Joyce said this move would follow the “amazing decision to appoint a gay Irish CEO” 15 years ago.

“Some airlines say you’ll never see a woman running an airline … One day, we’ll have a woman running Qantas,” Joyce said.

He spoke of the prominent women in the airline already. Chief executive of Qantas Loyalty, Olivia Wirth, Jetstar chief executive Stephanie Tully and Qantas Group chief financial officer, Vanessa Hudson.

He also spoke about the progress Australia has made in terms of diversity.

Joyce recalled having a man shove a lemon meringue pie in his face in protest of Joyce’s support of same sex marriage.

“I’m pretty proud of the role Qantas played with LBGTI diversity,” Joyce said.

“I’m still a bit nervous about standing on this stage – I’m worried someone will throw a pie in my face.”

The airline’s chairperson also spoke of diversity. Richard Goyder said the “only thing more important than Welcome to Country is our on-time performance”.

Joyce also spoke again of his desire to connect Australia and the United Kingdom with direct flights in the near future.

Guests including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Governor-General David Hurley, former prime minister Scott Morrison, and former foreign minister Julie Bishop were entertained by an a-list line up including Kylie Minogue.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

alan joyce jetstar olivia wirth qantas Richard Goyder Stephanie Tully Vanessa Hudson

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