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Feb 21, 2013

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Updated with Qantas statement

There is one matter that is obviously wrong in this morning’s AFR report concerning scandalous allegations in Italy against non-executive director Corinne Namblard.

And that is the suggestion that the rest of the Qantas board was unaware of the controversy.

That implies that the Qantas board is collectively, truly ignorant of the various reports that have been generated in the European media about this issue, and have asked no questions and conducted no diligence.

Surely not. There have to be very, very good reasons for confirming any appointment to the board, the Qantas board is respected and held in immense esteem for its care in such matters, and it beggars belief that it could in any way have not fully assured itself of the truth in relation to all of these matters. Furthermore and of critical importance, Namblard has rejected the adverse implications that had been reported elsewhere, and emphatically dismissed them in her reported reaction to them in the  AFR report.

When Plane Talking had the Namblard dossier of press cuttings translated where necessary last September, and expert opinion was sought, it was to the effect that there was nothing in them at that stage that would elevate any story above the distinct and unacceptable risk of improperly smearing her. Which meant, there was no story.

However this should not and cannot be the end of the matter.

Since Qantas management would have obviously done its job very well, and in great detail,  it ought to consider sharing those inquiries and conclusions with its investors now that an up to date report has been published by Australia’s leading financial masthead.

In the meantime, let this be clear, there is nothing adverse proven about Corinne Namblard. It is especially important to emphasise that Ms Namblard is not under any suspicion in relation to any matter in Australia. But now that some doubts about matters abroad have been raised, they need to be followed to their conclusion, and the outcomes in due course reported.

Qantas statement follows below:


Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.

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