The weeks before Qantas reports financial results are usually a news vacuum which sucks in speculation, and this year’s preliminary full year results announcement on 28 August is no exception to the rule.
So far in recent weeks, it has been reported that Qantas is likely to sell off all or part of its loyalty program, and this morning, followed by a story that such a plan has been put on ice, a denial of sorts has been issued to the ASX (below).
The word in the market place, well, certainly in some well credentialed analyst places, is that there was in fact no plan to put on ice, or, as another puts it, it had been “on ice over a back burner”, a very mixed metaphor, since the strategic update that accompanied the end of February release of the first half to 31 December results.
To play a straight bat, there are abundantly good arguments to be made for a partial loyalty sale, and persuasive arguments for not doing so.
Those who fly a lot and find it remarkably hard to get rewarded with ‘free’ flights any time before they die are probably indifferent to the notion of getting money out of something that doesn’t necessarily work well at what it says it offers, or alternatively, works incredibly well for shareholders.
It’s the same exquisite pain as that of owning shares in at least two of the four pillar banks in Australia and being showered with money, while being screwed into the gutter by fraudulent or severely compromised investment advice or ripped off by bank charges.
There are so many things different parties think Qantas could, should or might do in its announcements on 28 August that they present the media with ample opportunities to run them up and down the flag poles of speculation and grab the value of the headlines going in each direction.
In this observer’s opinion, whatever questions Qantas answers on 28 August, the answers will need to be damn good.