Qantas urged to invest in more planes as incoming CEO’s task seemingly becomes larger by the day

Qantas urged to invest in more planes as incoming CEO’s task seemingly becomes larger by the day

As Qantas’ hierarchy continue to work behind the scenes in appointing a new CEO, industry heavyweights have urged the airline to invest in new aircraft before it’s too late.

Australian and International Pilots Association president, Tony Lucas, told The Australian he does not envy the position of the incoming CEO who will be tasked with not only strengthening the operational strategies of the flying kangaroo, but also winning back the trust of the travelling public.

“I think they’re going to have their work cut out for them,” Lucas, said.

“We’ve got 49 options (for 787s), but if you order those now, it’s probably three-and-a-half years before the jet turns up.”

“So that means no increase in the main line fleet for the next four years, and at the same time, two A330s have just been sent to Germany to be converted into freighters. At a time when you’re short of passenger capacity, it seems a strange decision to make.”

Qantas Airbus A330 takes off.

Other figures in the industry have weighed in on the airlines industrial relations toward the end of Joyce’s tenure – which have sunk to a historic low according to the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Australian Services Union and Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA).

Asked on what the successor should set out to achieve, TWU’s national secretary, Michael Kaine, told The Australian they should, “immediately focus on treating employees as an investment rather than a cost to be splintered into the most economically downtrodden pieces”.

“The new CEO has got to be courageous enough to break away from that Joyce management model of executive greed, and turn Qantas in a new direction and that begins by engaging with the workforce who’ve been let down at every turn by the Qantas approach.”

Joyce will always be remembered as the CEO who led the national carrier through the dark days of the COVID pandemic, and back to profitability, however many will critique the man who took over the top job in 2008 for his aggressive approach to drive up stakeholder profits.

“Their whole enterprise bargaining tactics have been so aggressive, it’s not bargaining in any shape or form,” national secretary, FAAA, Teri O’Toole, said.

“They tell you what you’ll get. It’s never ‘we want this and we’re happy to give you that in the process’. What we’d like to see is a return to the day where they want to work with us, with unions, and they want to recognise what’s important to their employees.”

Qantas has been tight lipped surrounding information on the new CEO, although CFO, Vanessa Hudson and Qantas Loyalty boss, Olivia Wirth are reportedly the front runners to be announced by mid-year.



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