Qantas Airways Drops Red Q Idea, Opportunity To Build Employee Relations


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Qantas Airways Drops Red Q Idea, Opportunity To Build Employee Relations

By Daniel Baxter

November 28, 2011 - The collapse of plans to set up a new premium airline in Southeast Asia presents an opportunity to Qantas management to refocus on Qantas operations in Australia.

Qantas management’s plans to establish a ‘Red Q’ airline in Singapore or Malaysia have been put on indefinite hold, confirming the predictions of Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) and various aviation experts who had criticized the scheme as misguided adventurism. 

Qantas Airways is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally ‘QANTAS’. Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport. It is Australia's largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world and the second oldest in the world overall. 

Workers at Qantas are offend with the company attempts to bring in foreign labor to increase it profits over its workers. Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce, earns $5 million a year and the company continues to see high net profits year after year. A long-running industrial battle has seen Qantas pilots make unauthorized, in-flight announcements that have led to the banning of an in-flight John Travolta film, in which Travolta says he wants Qantas pilots in the cockpit. 

“We’ve said for months that this whole plan was incredibly risky and wholly unnecessary. Qantas management had little to gain and everything to lose from pursuing a race to the bottom in Southeast Asia,” AIPA Vice President Captain Richard Woodward said today. 

“Thankfully, this potentially disastrous plan seems to have collapsed before fatal damage could be done to the Qantas brand and the Qantas business. Jettisoning the renowned Qantas brand in order to establish no-name ‘premium’ operations in Southeast Asia was never a recipe for success. Over 90 years, Qantas has created two core brand strengths: unique Australian identity and an unparalleled safety reputation built on the highest Australian standards. 

“With the Red Q brain-snap now thankfully grounded for good, Alan Joyce and his management team are faced with a great opportunity. They can drop the risky business adventurism, drop the industrial warrior games and focus instead on building on Qantas’s strengths. 

“That means re-engaging with the Qantas workforce who, in spite of recent events, still has enormous love and respect for the airline. Government has a role to play here as well. Recent changes made by the Federal Government to the Maritime Act will reinvigorate Australia’s shipping industry. Similar changes could be applied to aviation. 


“Currently huge foreign government-subsidized airlines, like Emirates and Etihad, are being allowed to dump unsustainable pressure on our local industry. The current playing field is far from level for Qantas and ends up encouraging risky and misguided expansion plans like ‘Red Q’. Instead of holding the Federal Government to ransom, Qantas management could instead look to work constructively with them to deliver results in the airline’s interest and in the national interest. AIPA stands ready to assist in that process wherever possible.” 

Currently Qantas is considered a four-star airline by research consultancy firm Skytrax. In 2011, Qantas was voted the eighth best airline in the world by the firm, a drop from 2010 (seventh). In 2010, Qantas retained a 65 percent share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.

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