Qantas invests another $80m into customer relations as it struggles with reputation

Melbourne Australia- March 14, 2014: Qantas airplanes wait for departure at Melbourne Airport
Edited by Travel Weekly


    The Qantas Group has announced that it will invest an additional $80 million, alongside the $150m it announced on Friday, into customer improvements as the company claws its way back into the good graces of Aussie travellers.

    The group said this is aimed at addressing customer ‘pain points’ – namely, better contact centre resourcing and training, more seats that can be redeemed with Frequent Flyer points and more support when operational issues arise. Qantas is also looking to hit the pedal on some initiatives already underway, such as re-platforming the airline’s app.

    Another move by the airline to regain the Aussie publics’ trust is absorbing the cost of rising jet fuel. Qantas said that fuel prices have increased by around 30 per cent since May 2023, including a 10 per cent spike since August. This is driven by a combination of higher oil prices, higher refiner margins and a lower Australian dollar.

    Alongside this, Qantas has announced new aircraft deliveries and wet-leasing arrangements to help Qantas and Jetstar boost international capacity by 12 percentage points by the end of the calendar year – an increase of almost 50 additional flights a week.

    This includes Qantas resuming its Sydney-Shanghai services and starting two new routes, Brisbane-Wellington and Brisbane-Honiara, as well as a new Jetstar service from Brisbane to Tokyo.

    Both international and domestic capacity for 1H24 is materially unchanged from estimates given in late August 2023.

    On Friday, Qantas’ new CEO Vanessa Hudson released an apology video following a series of scandals involving the group.

    Hudson said the national carrier is investing more than $150m to restore trust and rebuild the reputationally tarnished carrier’s image.

    “I know that we have let you down in many ways and for that, I am sorry,” Hudson said in a video posted to Twitter.

    “We haven’t delivered the way we should have. And we’ve often been hard to deal with. I know that our people have tried their absolute best under very difficult circumstances. I want you to know that we’re determined to fix it.”

    The new CEO, who endorsed strategies by former CEO Alan Joyce as recently as when the airline revealed its $2.47b FY23 profit, said she is reviewing customer operations. Among those includes whether to bring call centres back to Australia, according to the Australian Financial Review.

    Hudson said that Qantas has not seen a slowdown in bookings but she acknowledged future spending on customers, which included new aircraft, lounges and food and beverage would come from the airline’s massive profit.

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