Qantas chairman says he won’t resign despite reputational thrashing

Qantas chairman says he won’t resign despite reputational thrashing
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Qantas’ chairman Richard Goyder has said he won’t step down from his position despite continual demand for his resignation following the carrier’s reputational trashing.

    Speaking to ABC’s The World Today, Goyder said he has the confidence of the Qantas board and its major investors want him around.

    “While I retain that confidence I’ll get to work and do the things we need to do to deal with some of the issues we’ve got at the moment,” Goyder said on radio.

    “And the latest read I’ve got is that people want me to continue to do the role.”

    This has been Goyder’s first broadcast interview since Qantas came under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly selling tickets on flights it had already cancelled.

    While Goyder admitted the airline had made mistakes he was insistent that the criticism needs to be viewed in the context of the pandemic, highlighting that the carrier was on the brink of collapse.

    “Shareholders are very supportive of the work we’re doing now,” he said.

    “On the customer side if things, we know we’ve got some work to do. We know we’ve let people down.

    “I think in hindsight, we tried to come out of the COVID lockdowns too rapidly.

    “And that was probably a combination of us wanting to get people back to work and us wanting to get our customers to places that they hadn’t been able to get to as borders reopened.”

    Going forward, Goyder said that Qantas needs to become a different airline.

    “I think we need a reasonable dose of humility now because we need to make sure we satisfy all our stakeholders and particularly our customers,” he said.

    An array of travel industry figures have called for Goyder’s resignation, including those at the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) who sent a letter to Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson.

    The letter raises concerns about the use of Boston Consulting Company (BCG) which Qantas has engaged in the past.

    “To repeat this mistake says to us that the new CEO will seek advice of the same kind that put Qantas into the reputational hole they currently occupy,” the ALAEA letter reads.

    “Engaging BCG says the Board neither hear, nor understand the problem.

    “The situation is so bad that Qantas employees are being abused on the street simply for wearing the uniform.

    “If Qantas is determined to fix problems and deliver consistency, you cannot engage BCG or other similar consultants.

    “These bean counters are the problem.

    “Instead, you need to talk to staff.”

    Goyder received $750,000 for his work at the airline in FY23.

    (Featured Image: Richard Goyder – Sky News)

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