The Australian and International Pilots Association are urging Qantas management to “learn the lessons of the past” following the national carrier’s dismal financial results to the tune of a $2.8 billion loss announced today.
The Association have advised the airline to “strategically invest in the right aircraft for Qantas International so it can return to its former prestige and profitability”.
“Although pilots recognised change was necessary for Qantas International to position itself for the future, focussing on cuts alone would not produce positive results,” AIPA President, Nathan Safe said in a statement.
“Cuts are only one half of the equation and, frankly, it’s the easy half for management. The more challenging problem is how to strategically invest for future growth,” Mr Safe said.
“Qantas management has got this badly wrong since privatisation, primarily through poor aircraft choices. Neglecting to purchase fuel-efficient B-777s was foolish and has cost the airline dearly. Qantas literally cannot afford to repeat the mistake.
“Qantas International is a prestige brand and passengers rightly demand the highest quality. For the business to be successful Qantas needs to be offering the right aircraft. Today that means investing in new B-787s.
“Of course, considerable expense would be involved, but that’s business. You need to invest strategically if you want to generate growth. Slashing away and simply hoping things will turn around can never be the solution. You can’t cut your way to long-term success.”
Referring to the recently announced write downs and holding structure for Qantas International, triggered by a softening of the Qantas Sale Act, Mr Safe said the “Federal Government should be taking a more active role in ensuring the viability of Qantas”.
“International aviation is not a rational, free market system,” Mr Safe said.
“Governments around the world play a critical role. The Australian Government cannot simply turn away and expect Qantas to play by free market rules not being observed by the rest of the world.
“We know relations between management and Canberra have been understandably strained by recent history. But we need to put that behind us now because the fact is Qantas management needs to have a cooperative relationship with the Australian Parliament if it is to succeed into the future.”
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