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QANTAS: Alan Joyce, CEO to appear before Senate Select Committee at 3:30pm today, Monday 28 August

QANTAS: Alan Joyce, CEO to appear before Senate Select Committee at 3:30pm today, Monday 28 August

Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, and other executives, including Steph Tully, CEO of the Jetstar Group and Andrew McGinnes, Group Executive, Qantas, are appearing in the Legislative Council Committee Room in East Melbourne at 3:30 pm today.

They will be questioned by members of the Select Committee on Cost of Living conducted by the Australian Senate.

Qantas and Alan Joyce, have come under direct criticism for the high price of airfares around 52% above pre-pandemic levels.

Alan Joyce CEO Qantas
Alan Joyce CEO Qantas [Qantas]

Press Criticism of Alan Joyce

Mr Joyce must wince at the press briefings he presumably receives daily on coverage of Qantas and himself. Some of it has been damning.

I’ve been monitoring it, so you don’t have to. Below, I have set out the most interesting content and what it has to say about Qantas and its leadership. If you want to know more, please follow the links provided.

Joe Ashton, Australian Financial Review

Possibly the most vitriolic but best-argued piece comes from the inimitable Joe Ashton of the Rear Window column. It should be noted, as well as consulting to Qantas in a past life, Joe has penned a series of very critical pieces in 2023 regarding Qantas and Alan Joyce. Everything from the alleged granting of the Prime Minister’s 23-year-old son membership of the exclusive Qantas Chairman’s Lounge through to Alan Joyce’s disposal of his Qantas shares. He ends with this shot:

Joyce ended his press conference on Thursday more than 20 minutes early with a queue of reporters still waiting to ask their questions. He is clearly rattled. He’s endured intense scrutiny before but always sailed through and won the argument of the day. His lines aren’t landing any more, he’s lost the mob, and that’s because nowadays, he punches down at Qantas customers and he punches down at Australian taxpayers.

Joe Ashton, Rear Window, Australian Financial Review
Qantas Melbourne First Class Lounge
Qantas Melbourne First Class Lounge [2A/2PAXfly]

Heather Hewitt, Australian Financial Review

This article runs through various areas of complaints about Qantas and chronicles Alan Joyce’s responses. It covers everything from Flight credits, and Qatar’s application for additional flights, through to the treatment of Qantas Employees. Hewitt concludes that Joyce has the ear of the Prime Minister, to be expected of the head of a national airline. She closes by pointing out that the Press Conference with Joyce on the release of the spectacular profit was closed down early, so journalists were unable to quiz him on what he discussed with the Prime Minister.

Amelia McGuire, Sydney Morning Herald

Ms McGuire has penned two pieces recently on the decision of the government to reject Qatar Airways application for 28 additional flights to Australia. One is Virgin Australia’s reaction to the rejection, and the other is the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s reaction to the decision. Let me cut to the chase. Both find it an unfathomable decision, and infer that Qantas had something to do with influencing the decision, given that it benefits from Qatar no increasing its flights.

Qantas Sydney Business Lounge 2022
Qantas Sydney Business Lounge 2022 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Ayesha de Kretser, Australian Finanical Reveiw

Her piece on the power of Qantas and the government’s decision to block the foreign operator (Qatar Airways) from obtaining more airport slots in Australia is worth a read. She talks to a range of commenters, including past and present politicians, industry representatives and the Chief executive of consumer advocate Choice Magazine, Alan Kirkland. Her summary of their views and comments is instructive.

Sarah Basford Canales and Elias Visontay, The Guardian

These journalists have chronicled the reactions to the Qatar Airways decision from a number of interested parties, including various airport executives, state governments, politicians and several airlines. They conclude that Senator Catherine King, responsible for the decisions as Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, has provided totally inadequate reasons for her decision, allegedly against the advice of her department.

Gate 1 Arrival, Terminal 3, Qantas, Sydney Airport (2A/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

I’m not sure that an hour and three executives will shed much light on how Qantas and CEO Alan Joyce have behaved recently. I’m not even sure you can view the Senate Committee Hearings. But there are facts. Those include that Qantas flights cost more than ever, and the service provided is worse than it was pre-pandemic.

These facts we hold to be true. Happy reading.

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