Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Joyce the new CEO of Qantas

Old 29th Jul 2008, 05:28
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Today's take on it from crikey.com.au

What sort of Qantas will Jetstar-Joyce deliver?

Ben Sandilands writes:

Former Jetstar boss Alan Joyce is taking over at Qantas just as the Jetstar model runs into real problems. The lower fare paying passengers, those that were suckered by a five-cent fare in one direction and screwed with a $200 fare return, aren’t rocking up like they once did. Source: Guidance from Geoff Dixon, the Qantas CEO in the executive departure lounge. Reason: The so called ultra low fare customers that spawned Ryanair, the Jetstar template which is currently losing financial altitude faster than QF 30 did when it dropped in on Manila, can no longer afford the petrol to get to an airport, never mind being gouged for the parking.

Jetstar International is in serious trouble in Japan because it is considered an insult by consumers, and doesn’t have the support of the major tour wholesalers who control on-line and off-line leisure sales.
Dixon’s decision to replace many Japan flights with Jetstar services is not just bad strategy according to tourism insiders, but a factor in the disastrous collapse of Japanese travel to Queensland. The myth that Jetstar somehow saved Qantas from the wicked Virgins is also turning into a problem. By the time Jetstar started flying in 2004, Virgin Blue had already stopped the massive and unsustainable rate of expansion it underwent through 2002-2003. Instead it began replacing near-new jets with brand new jets bought outright or at better leasing rates.
Before Jetstar, the Virgin Blue share of contested domestic routes was measurable by DOTARS data on passenger numbers boarded. It sat at just over 30%. It is still hovering around 32% and looking at Virgin and Qantas capacity cuts, it could stay there even in a shrinking total market.

What Jetstar really achieved was to drive higher yield Qantas customers across to Virgin Blue (which had wisely stopped the involuntary face painting of persons in suits) when they were confronted with routes from which most if not all Qantas full service flights had been withdrawn.
Jetstar is poison for regular business flyers, or "new world travellers" as Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey calls them. The cosy little duopoly that has now emerged on the mainline domestic routes between Qantas and Virgin Blue is a division of the spoils in terms of regular travellers who normally fly economy and routinely pay around $250-400 for a one way flight between the SE cities without blinking.

Joyce’s other problem is that Jetstar is despised at many levels in Qantas, including senior managers who will presumably soon leave, who insisted that the original Jetstar offering be so bad that customers would know they were being punished for not paying rip off fares to the full service carrier.
If Joyce had been freer to act on his instincts, Jetstar could have done enormous damage to Qantas and Virgin Blue. All it would have taken was a bit more legroom and check-in procedures and ticket conditions that didn’t treat customers like sh-t. But the real and legitimate agenda for Jetstar has always been higher productivity. It's an agenda for Qantas that’s stencilled on Joyce’s forehead.
Many in Qantas hope that Joyce’s alleged disdain for "legacy" concepts of engineering and piloting excellence vanishes (if it really ever existed).

Jetstar’s worst incident, a bungled attempt at a foggy landing at Melbourne Airport in July last year, not only put lives in jeopardy, but raised doubts that the carrier even understood its obligations in the transitional training of pilots to the A320 airliner or the inadequacy of its flight standards oversights.
The incident was inexcusable. Two pilots sat there wondering why a jet kept descending on lower than expected power without actually checking that the throttle was in the right detent and then blamed a system’s failure, an excuse that lasted as long as a snowflake in Surfers when the ATSB finally demanded to see the data.

Given the meeja hysterics over a trivial and routine problem with a Qantas flight that returned to Adelaide last night, it won’t get away with anything without intense scrutiny.
But we may not have seen the full Alan Joyce in action. Now that some of the restraints of his Jetstar brief are gone so are all bets about what sort of Qantas it is that Joyce and the notably engaged chairman Leigh Clifford really have in mind.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 05:37
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Post # 22

Happened at B.A.too.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 05:37
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I have refrained from engaging in the purile PPRuNe debate concerning the "QF/JQ world is caving in" nonsense BUT I simply cannot overlook an implication presented by Captainrats:

"An aging fleet that requires considerable maintenance from diminished resources ie tangible equipment assets and personnel"

SQ has a reasonably young fleet NOW but dont kid yourself, they will be basket cases when still operating in thier twilight years. Case in point the poor state of the A310's and 743's when they were not factory fresh.

"A Disengaged workforce that been largely managed on the basis of fear and intimidation."

Do you really think the staff at SQ and QR are "engaged". "Managed by fear" is an apt term when referring to SQ, its how they do business.

"Operational disarray."

Yep, sums up QR very nicely and other big players such as CX couldnt strategize thier way out of a paper bag on most occasions.

You will not get sympathy from fellow workers at the airlines you mention, they are struggling with same issues you face, or worse.

So you think your new boss is a mean and nasty man that will try to make your charmed lifes difficult? Welcome to the real world my friend.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 05:47
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to jaba

Nice to hear something positive.Open mind here.

If anyone expects a new CEO to come down and kiss lame's or pilot's backsides for doing what they do we're all going to be disappointed.

If he has any credo he truly does need to respect the workforce (and show it).The GD era was epitomised by a tough guy culture that was emulated thru out management.Every wannabe out Geoffing Geoff.
I expect hard nosed management but I also want to see see him talk to people meet them look at what we do and where.

I also want the empires that even Geoff could not find or disassemble brought down and less money spent on bull$#!^.
Still cant believe the agonisingly complex and non-standardised across the fleet paperwork that qantas have for fixing jets.
For all the money spent on IT its one of the major sources of frustration in engineering.Utter crap.200 million on marlin had better work .

Train more apprentices and give AME's some hope of a career as LAME.Train LAME's on more types and get better value out of them.Half licences or not trained on this variant or that tail or category costs so much.

A more open , consultative culture in engineering would be most welcome.

Re-insert spleen now.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 06:17
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From what I have been told by a J* Capt is that AJ is not a bad guy at all. Quite approachable and willing to engage
Would that J* Capt have a last name starting with J as well?
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 06:20
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While I was no fan of Mr. Dixon, I think it might be wise to wait and see how Mr. Joyce settles in before passing judgement. Personalities are not stable over time, and of course where you sit is where you stand on many issues.

You might be pleasantly surprised by the little fella, give him a fair go.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 06:31
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Sunfish, I sincerely hope you are right.

The mantra of the LCC will not be sustained as the economic storm clouds gather. The only way an airline will hold onto to revenue and more importantly yield is respect. That starts with the customer, who is sold a decent product, at a fair price and treated as such. That customer is then dealt with by staff, who are treated with respect. Ultimately back to the shareholder. Or so Walt Disney maintained, as did Gordon Bethune and a plethora of others.

His form to date suggests otherwise.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 07:09
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QFInsider....who exactly told you that AJ doesn't respect his staff? I have not heard that from anyone I know who works there. He is tough....cost minded and single minded, not taking short cuts...Ask any Ansett employee if they'd like to have had someone like that running their company. I have heard that the JQ folks like him and that he actually believes what he says about safety.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 08:09
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Genex....

What is your version/understanding of "tough"?
Alan Joyce is "tough"?
Is he made of carbon fibre or does he beat people up?
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 08:10
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Angry

Many of the posts here quite graphically display why pilots as a whole can be manipulated and screwed by intelligent corporate types. Obviously the average age on this thread would be about 10. How embarrassing.

DM
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 08:25
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genex: absolute rubbish. If you think AJ and or any other CEO of an airline puts safety before profit you have been sucking on the management bong far too long.

If that was the case why would dixon take HM off shore or why jetstar operated without a manager of safety for near on a year or why all of the safety investigators with jetstar are FOs and do not have to be paid a %age of a capts wage? Its not because they have safety front and centre I can tell you.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 08:38
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 08:52
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Virgindriver

Sorry mate, of the few I know none have a J in their names at all.

J
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 09:17
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It would be hilllarious if AIPA and the other draconian unions were to run Q
Like the "draconian" Long Haul Cabin Crew union that agreed to a 50% pay cut for new starters?
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 10:44
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Dodgybrothers- No different to the way Big Brother did business, not too many Captains are investigators there either. Jetstar do however now have the former head of safety at KLM as well as a former Chief Pilot of Ansett as Group Manager so I don't think they are short of experience. Even before that they had a former ATSB investigator who developed a basic investigator's course because there was no other in-house course available within the Group.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 11:16
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One last round!

What a shame for AJ to go, no more credit card thrown over the bar and 'herr yer go boys, it's on me' until all hours!
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 11:44
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I think genex and KEG could be good friends in another era.

AJ has done a great job at Jet* and no doubt will apply himself equally as well in his new position.

What say the jury remains out for a while and we all give him the fair go we Aussies are famous for.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 12:02
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So what if FOs are investigators in JQ. Do you think you have to be a Captain to be a good investigator? This is precisely the type of thinking that needs to be overhaulled.
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 12:06
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Your wish is my command....see ya!
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Old 29th Jul 2008, 12:17
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Keg

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Lightbulb

Turbtool, I think genex and I probably agree on far more than we disagree.

To summarise my thoughts- and whilst I don't speak for all of my colleagues the conversations I've had with a lot of them would indicate that many of them share my thoughts.
1. Neither I nor the over whelming majority of my colleagues thought or think ill of the J* crew or consider them second rate operators.
2. I am bitterly disappointed that many forces (some who were previously quite high up in AIPA) keep working at having the pilot groups at arms length from each other.
3. I'm disappointed that J* crew signed on for a poor EBA when they had a gun to their head regarding the A320 instead of trying to work WITH AIPA for a better deal.
4. I'm disappointed that J* crew signed on for the widebody variation that confirmed that they'd fly the A330 for substantially lower conditions than the other operator of A330 aircraft in Australia.
5. I'm frustrated that QF keep being told how expensive we are as an airline when no one knows for sure how much assistance QF provided/provides J* both in start up and in an ongoing fashion.
6. I'm bitterly cranky that QF pilots and their representatives have constantly be denied a seat at the table to discuss crewing aspects of the LCC. This has been a concerted effort by J* management, the JPC and even the AFAP.
7. That crankiness ratchets up a notch when I recall agreements in EBA and promises made to the pilot body that we actually would get a seat at the table. The seat at the table involved not taking away a single command from current J* crew and seeing QF drivers who move across to J* sitting underneath the J* crew on seniority.
8. It ratchets up a further notch when I am told that the pilot culture of which I share a proud heritage would 'pollute' a relatively new carrier that has grown rapidly from GA RPT ops to heavy jets.
9. I'm frustrated that the premium product- which everyone acknowledges is still doing pretty well whilst the leisure travel segment is 'softening- is neglected with tired, thirsty aircraft whilst the low cost, low yield product is showered with newer and more efficient equipment.
10. I'm frustrated by a management that publicly states that it sees little value in it's people and that it's shareholders it's only priority and that this attitude impedes people's ability to actually do their job. That frustration continues when i see one of the prime architects and enablers of that strategy promoted to follow the already poisonous employee relations.

Any QF crew who aren't broadly in line with that view would probably be the minority and those who attempt to paint that alternative view as the majority 'sky god' view are either sadly mis-informed or trying it on for their own mischevious purposes. Perhaps Genex could tell us which side of the ledger he falls on.

So good luck to Mr Joyce. If the J* crew like the job he did for them then perhaps that's a positive start. Given his public disdain for me and my colleagues you can understand our hesitation in giving him a rousing welcome.

PS: QF too use F/Os (amongst others) as investigators. Some of them are internally trained. Many of them spent time with BASI and/or the ATSB prior to QF. Not ALL of the investigators are F/Os though which is the point I think the other poster was making. Nice straw man though kelly.
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