Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, talks of big changes ahead, necessitated by globalisation and intense competition.
In an address to the Australia Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit in Sydney, Joyce said; “Change is always tough. But the competitive challenges we face make major change essential, and our commitment to the change process is absolute.”
He stated the airline’s intent to expand into the Asian market, alluding to the development of a new Asian carrier based in China, Malaysia or Singapore.
“By 2020, China will have 15 cities with bigger populations than Sydney and the region will be home to 2.6 billion people. And by 2030 the country expects to have at least three globally recognized international airline hubs, 10 national and regional hubs and at least 244 airports,” he said.
Days prior, Qantas announced restructuring plans for the international network, with details set for release in late August. Building on the success of low cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways and Qantas’ branding expertise, the Australian national carrier will use joint ventures and partnerships to secure a position in the fast growing Asian market.
The move has been opposed by workers unions who fear their jobs will be outsourced off-shore. However Joyce rebutted protests, calling the union leaders “out of touch”, adding change was necessary for the airline to compete in a globalised marketplace. He told onlookers at the summit that Qantas costs were 25% higher than competitors and that new technologies had to be adopted to reduce costs. “It’s time to catch up. We can, and we will, be safer, smarter and more efficient,” Joyce concluded.