Qantas CEO Joyce doesn’t mention Emirates in speech
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has just given a luncheon speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sydney and not used the Emirates word once.
It was a peculiarly rambling speech, at least as seen via patchy broadband on ABC News 24.
However in summary Joyce said everything in Qantas was going really well, particularly in Qantas domestic, but also described customer support for the Dallas Fort Worth service as performing “fantastically well.”
He said that Qantas was the largest carrier on the Australia-US routes, and the only airline to fly from Australia to the US west coast and beyond.
This will come as a surprise to both Delta and United. If Joyce meant to say it was the only Australian airline to do this, why would he bother with such a statement of the obvious? Alternatively did he think an AmCham audience is so ill informed as to which airline flies where in America that it would overlook such a glaring inaccuracy?
There wasn’t anything new in the speech other than a recital as to the merits of Qantas service, its iPads in every seat in its 767s, and its award winning wine list.
In what might be especially apposite, Joyce told the audience that Hooroo [the name it has given an accommodation booking service] was “An Australian term for hullo.”
It is in fact Australian for “good bye” and it fell out of common usage when Chips Rafferty was still a boy. It’s “Good bye”, Alan, “good bye”.
While the audience seemed to titter politely, Joyce said the price of fuel was so badly affected by the strong Australian dollar that a flight to London now raised $1 million in revenues but costs of $500,000 in kerosene.
(This is an odd point in that Qantas supposedly benefits from a strong dollar in relation to fuel compared to airline like Emirates, with a fixed exchange rate, or Singapore Airlines, for whom the Singapore dollar has not appreciated to the extent of the Australian dollar.)
Joyce recited geography and fuel as the reasons “Why we are moving at speed to execute a dramatic five year plan.”
He said the audience might conclude from headlines that the Qantas response to tough times was to retreat or cut back. He assured them that “this was just not the case.”
He said that it had a gateway strategy in its approach to alliances that were “all about extending our reach while lowering our costs.”
The consolidated number of full time positions to be cut at Qantas in the current period were 2800, but he also said some of those who lost their jobs may find them elsewhere in the group. There were 26,000 full time positions in the Qantas group excluding Jetstar at the end of June.
He confirmed previous guidance that the airline would report a statutory loss for the year to 30 June but an ‘underlying profit before tax’.
There were several moments that seemed like an appropriate place for Joyce to use the E-word, or even resuscitate an Asia based premium carrier in narrow body aircraft with seats wider than a first class suite in an A380, but he did neither.
Joyce said Qantas was getting fantastic responses to customer surveys that people filled in at the end of their flights, and said that its refurbished 747s were getting an even better reaction from fliers than its A380s [the standard to which the 747s were raised during the renovations].
He reaffirmed that Qantas was fully on track to return Qantas international to profitability within three years (or by now, about two years) and return its costs of capital within five years (which would be about four years, as the timetable was first announced a year ago).
This report is compiled from what was broadcast by ABC News 24 and not a full hearing of the speech.