The Australian flag carrier Qantas faced financial ruin with cash reserves expected to last just 11 weeks after Australia slammed its borders shut to foreigners at the start of the pandemic claims embattled chief executive Alan Joyce.
Joyce said in a speech in Sydney on Monday that he was receiving weekly updates from his financial updates as international air travel started to grind to a halt in March and April 2020.
Those updates, Joyce says, made from grim reading and underscored the need for Qantas to make dramatic changes if it were to survive the devastating effects that the pandemic wrought on the aviation sector.
“People forget how low everything was back in March, April, May, June 2020,” Joyce said in his speech. “There was no vaccine. There was no hope that it could be as effective as it was. We had to stare into this 11 weeks of survival.”
Joyce managed to extend the financial life of the airline by dramatically cutting costs and raising capital. The under-fire Qantas boss has spent most of 2022, however, justifying those business-saving cost-cutting measures over delayed flights, lost luggage and a dramatic drop in service from the airline.
The 56-year-old aviation exec has also had to fend off criticism from employee unions who have blasted the airline’s decisions to outsource staff and attempt to rewrite contracts.
Joyce is said to be in line to earn AUD $5.57 million this year.
Qantas says its operations are starting to get back on track with on-time performance improving to 69 per cent in September and the number of lost bags dropping to 6 in 1000.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.