How much worse do things have to get at Qantas before someone at the top realizes that the place is in crisis. The market has noticed by lopping some 15% off the share price in the last two weeks. Power failures in BKK,767s running out of water ex HNL and direct LAX services diverting into HNL due to operational requirements. The Pax notice. A letter in todays Fin Review suggests that:
"Delays and cacellations due to engineering requirements are now an almost routine occurrence."
"The interiors of many Qantas planes are looking very tired"
"It also needs to address its very obvious staff morale issues"
"Its a sad reflection on what was once a world class company that Qantas is deluded enough to think that some advertising spin will improve its tattered image" The BNE and PER domestic terminals are unable to cope with current traffic levels.The 743 continually breakdown.Management wonders why customer satisfaction levels between PER/SYD and PER/MEL have plummeted. The employees are at fault.They are always a soft target Then factor in the naming of current and former freight exec's who were involved in illegal price fixing and you have a picture of a company that has lost its way. Qantas needs to fix the basics:infrastructure,equipment and staffing levels before it starts to advertise anything.
QF loses a hull. Thats the sad,frightening reality. Then watch the rats abandon the sinking ship. CASA is totally ineffective.The ATSB needs more info before it can act. The Australian Securities Commission is still silent regarding the failed takeover. Dixon must have a lot of photos of a lot of people doing naughty things with Farm Animals
They "the counters of beans" have probably factored "Hull Loss" into the affordable safety equation.
they probably have but us engineers have not its up to each of us to maintain safty,we will do our best to maintain the ageing fleet to the best of our ability in spite of difficult conditions introduced by management who do not understand maintenance. In an airline run by accountants you still have pilots, engineers and flight attendants who care.
Unfortunately the outsourcing of maintenance has taken away our ability to monitor deep rooted and hidden maintenance, short cuts that do not appear for years to come, ie fuse cracks from striping paint, staples in wiring, cracks in drip shields,flap tracks, and who knows what else yet. Yes we have been told QF have factored in that H.L. we do all we can but how can we redo a D chk on transits.
I can't argue with any of you about operational problems at Qantas, from a 1st hand point of view, I can tell you that under-resourcing is the problem. As an example, Qantas has a fuel conservation department that continually issues pointless paper directives designed to save a kilo here and there whilst aircraft routinely wait several minutes for a bay (burning in the order of 1,000kg of fuel per hour) because there is no engineer to accept the aircraft onto the bay.
To say the share price is down because of this is silly, however, as the whole sharemarket is down around 15% from November highs.
Cost-cutting is rampant while senior managers stuff their pockets with "bonuses", whilst other employees have to fight tooth and nail just to have their wages keep pace with inflation.
In all ports, particularly Perth and Brisbane, groundstaff are mostly casuals and are stretched to the limit. The "solution" is to cut even more staff.
There is no responsibility taken at a higher level for delays. Sure there are pencil dick delay codes for this, that and the other - but nothing is done - bonuses are paid for fiddling statistics. Most passengers are surprisingly understanding if you merely explain "what" is happening, "what" is being done to rectify the problem and roughly "when" you will get them to their destination. Maintenance defects and adverse weather are a fact of life, but most passengers are surprisingly understanding given a plain english explanation of the reason and it takes only a little thought and a minute of delivery.
I, personally, am sick of explaining to passengers that we are late because there:
1. Is no-one to load the bags or cargo on the aircraft because they are attending another aircraft. 2. There is no-one to extend the aerobridge and let passengers off the aircraft because they are attending another gate. 3. There is no-one to bring a wheelchair down to the aircraft to assist a disabled passenger because they are "busy elsewhere". 4. We have just spent 20 minutes waiting for a loadsheet because of a software upgrade. 5. We are still waiting for passengers because, even though they arrived in plenty of time, there were not enough check-in staff to check their bags in.
plenty more if you have time.
An announcement at the gate 5 mins before an aircraft is due to depart when there is no aircraft at the gate that, "boarding will be delayed because of the late arrival of the inbound aircraft" is NOT an acceptable explanation. Anyone with eyes is able to see that.
It is actually quite embarassing.
I could go on and on and on and on..., but I have a life.
Message to Dixon, Borghetti etc - PERCEPTION IS REALITY.
We lose a hull?Will management give back their bonuses. What form of apology will they offer to those who lose their lives? Probably a DJs gift card. Thank God for our Lames The reason the share price has dived is that Merrill Lynch has put a sell note on Qantas stock.The reason is that the aviation cycle has peaked and from here on its going south. When the hell is Scrotum face leaving ?
I know this dreaming and also past tense, but in the eighties QF was in big trouble, financally, bad morale, (seems like it never finishes doesn't it) but the then chiefs Menadue and Yates saw the natives were restless, and called a huge meeting outside H271. everybody who could go went, from the pilots to the seat installers to the engineers to the bloke on the gate, they told us what was happening, we told them what was happening. There had been bad decisions, no apprenticeship schemes, which turned out to be neally fatal to the company, QF was top heavy with middle management (again!) and the company was basically broke. But the amazing thing was we all TALKED, with each other, it did not matter what part of the company you came from, we, that day TALKED. And the outcome? We told management that we would all pull our weight if they did, and you will find this hard to believe in this era of me, me, me, we all did. All power not being used was switched off, all plumbing was checked for leaks, people stayed back but did not apply for overtime, the pilots almost did handstands trying to save fuel, (and this is going to send you over the side) in six months time the company started to come good with higher pax yield, and less money outgoing, and wait for it, these two bosses came around all the hangers, crew rooms, canteens, and offices for a couple of days THANKING everybody Of course there were cynics, and those who didn't give a S$#t, but a hell of a lot did care and acted upon it. Off course we are in a different era, but we are still human beings, and if you don't treat people like mushrooms,and you come out of your ivory tower and COMMUNICATE, people will start to listen, and if you behave like Menadue and Yates who included YOU in the running of the company, QF like a huge slowly turning ship will start to change her course with a far happier crew. It is not hard.I know I am dreaming, but jeez the right boss could do it and bring the company back to straight and level. We can all but hope
Maybe the board could follow Continental's lead, sack Geoff 'Lorenzo' Dixon and install someone like Gordon Bethune who has turned Continental around by investing in staff morale, amongst other things. ( hasn't improved the cabin crew politeness on the Atlantic run though)
Oh, but wait, this is the board that thought it was a good idea for Qantas to have 11 billion dollars of debt on board when everyone, including Blind Freddy, could see an Aviation downturn within 18 months.......
ah well, better keep digging that deep hole so morale can continue it's journey............
So, who's gonna buy us when we go pear shaped.......Singapore or Emirates ?
The single most helpful thing that management could do is cease bonus payments to managers for doing the job they are paid to do. If the salary isn't enough for them they should seek employment elsewhere.
Message to Dixon, Borghetti etc - PERCEPTION IS REALITY.
Clown Act, your accuracy is brilliant. What you say is happening, day in day out.
Unfortunately the Dixon, Borghetti levels are always sheltered from reality by their Exec's and Managers below. Realistically Dixon / Borghetti and co. direct their Exec's, to carry out what ever. Because of the entrenched culture, these Exec's agree without question and pass it down to their Managers. (The Exec's are now off the hook. All care and responsibility passed on.)
These Managers now pass the order through to their Junior Managers (keen as hell). They appear to care, but once again responsibility is passed on. The directive continues to the Supervisors and they agree without question, as they're told where the directive came from. The directive is then passed down to their Junior Supervisors, Leading Hands etc, etc. These are the people that do know reality but are afraid to speak up, or have spoken up and been ignored, as they have attained the first rung on the ladder and are looking for the second.
The filtering affect continues until it reaches the lower levels of the establishment. When it goes pear shape, the cycle reverses and the blame game starts to travel up the tree. I didnít know, they didnít tell me, it wasnít my fault, I told them. Weíve all heard it.
This is the culture that needs to stop.
You could almost say Qantas is in a dutch roll without a gyro.
Believe it or not, the answer is simple.
Itís not called Business Management, but it is a major part of it.
Itís called people Management.
I could list the any number of Ďunitsí associated with this subject, offered by any TAFE or University you can mention.
We, and I mean Qantas as an organisation, are not doing this. Some individuals are, and we thank and respect them but theyíre fighting the rest of the organization above and below.
Maybe itís time to go back to basics, starting at the top?
First of all don't blame the holders of MBA's, it's a useful thing to have if you have practical knowledge of the industry in which you want to work, or are prepared for a long apprenticeship.
Deckzone is right, it's about people and recognition.
The trouble with Qantas, from my perspective, is that its been a politically controlled monopoly for a very long time, the big elephant in the room of Australian Aviation, and it's been desperately trying to profit from that fact at the same time as trying to hide itself. By this I mean if you are an Australian Pilot/Lame/CC,administrator/management accountant who are you going to work for?? Qantas or what else?
For example, if you are a Consulting forensic aviation accountant (of the sort the ACCC needs) where do you expect your jobs to come from? It's probably not news to any of you that this is an incestuous business because Australian Aviation is a relatively small community. Go up against Qantas Pal, and you will never work again. Same with the media - Qantas is a heavy advertiser, do you want to piss them off?
The political connections Qantas have are mind boggling and straddle both sides of politics, Federal and State. Simply look at the list of former Directors to get the flavour. Then there is the Qantas "Sydney centric" model which has greatly benefited NSW at the expense of the other states, thats bought them a lot of favours over the years, just like the Presidents lounge.
Now even this state of affairs could be changed relatively easily to the benefit of shareholders, the nation and staff, except that the narcissists snuck in and got control of the Board and Senior Management. Once in, they replicate themselves. Since they got in by arse licking, they are not averse to employing arse lickers to work on their own posteriors. Thats how you got a few extra layers of Executive/group/general/managers - all paying homage up the line.
Now one of the defining characteristics of narcissists (and a dead give away) is a total inability to empathise with people, narcissists instead "calibrate" people and tell them what they want to hear - and this only for people they think will give them self esteem in retunr. As for people "below" them on the pecking order - the don't count and are ignored, just like you are. You are just like talking dogs to them - you will be thrown a bone occasionally, but bite the hand that feeds you and you will be euthanased real fast.
The other characteristics of narcissists is that they will lie and cheat anyone easily and smoothly.
I only see the edges of this but it's telling - giving Grange to your senior managers at Christmas, but F*** all to your staff, writing a dirty letter to the inhabitants of Hamilton Island, throwing your weight around at airports, and trying to steal the company from under the nose of its shareholders are all telltale signs.
So now comes the problem, Qantas needs to change bigtime. It's fat, lazy, it's Sydney-centric, it's monopoly is becoming more and more a wart on the bum of Australia's progress because it is keeping increased competition (always a good thing) from happening.
The trouble is, the last people you want running a change agenda are narcissists because through their lack of empathy and total lack of interest in any sort of feedback that doesn't massage their ego, they screw it up....and according to what I read here, they have comprehensively screwed it up at operational levels.
To put it in simple terms, when you set out a change agenda for a business as big as Qantas, the first thing you do is map where you need to go - the vision, mission and your one, two, through to five year plan. Then you have to decide if you are going to make these changes quick and dirty, or slow and clean. By quick and dirty, I mean wield the axe in a matter of days/weeks/months and get it over with, then get on with life. Slow and clean means lots of staff consultation and feedback, voluntary redundancy, timetables, transparency, touchy feely stuff over years.
Trouble is narcissists always go for the stupid model - "slow and dirty" because it maximises the chances for them to revel in their power and massage their own egos. Thats why the LAMES/pilots/CC have been strung out over their EBA's - because its fun to screw with you, they take delight in your despair and obvious distress, it's amusing to them and reinforces their self image as masters of the universe.
There are other characteristics of narcissists, including a disrespect for the rule of law "Laws are for little people", which has already come out in the freight price fixing cartel, and may eventually come out is the ACCC got off its fat arse, or if one day you have a hull loss.
So I pity you, and I won't allow myself, my family or friends to fly on your aircraft for the foreseeable future.
It's interesting, QF may actually be feeling the glare on the back of senior management necks because this week they were doing some rather unusual market research.
I got a call from a Sydney based MR agency researching the airlines I use for business.
Not only did they ask about the usual things like convenient schedules, confidence about safety, in-flight service, etc, they also asked about my opinion of management, how I perceive management treats QF staff, and so on.
Experienced a lot of MR surveys in my time. Never heard those questions before.
Makes you wonder why, and what they propose to do with the information?
Narcissists?, Sunfish, I thought Qantas was being run by Sociopaths!
(from the internet)
Antisocial Personality Disorder is also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. Individuals with this disorder have little regard for the feeling and welfare of others. As a clinical diagnosis it is usually limited to those over age 18. It can be diagnosed in younger people if the they commit isolated antisocial acts and do not show signs of another mental disorder.
Antisocial Personality Disorder is chronic, beginning in adolescence and continuing throughout adulthood. There are ten general symptoms: not learning from experience no sense of responsibility inability to form meaningful relationships inability to control impulses lack of moral sense chronically antisocial behavior no change in behavior after punishment emotional immaturity lack of guilt self-centeredness People with this disorder may exhibit criminal behavior. They may not work. If they do work, they are frequently absent or may quit suddenly. They do not consider other people's wishes, welfare or rights. They can be manipulative and may lie to gain personal pleasure or profit. They may default on loans, fail to provide child support, or fail to care for their dependents adequately. High risk sexual behavior and substance abuse are common. Impulsiveness, failure to plan ahead, aggressiveness, irritability, irresponsibility, and a reckless disregard for their own safety and the safety of others are traits of the antisocial personality.
Last edited by max autobrakes; 18th Jan 2008 at 23:41.