Qantas shareholders meet in Brisbane
late next month and will no doubt hear the usual litany of gloom, doom and we’ll be ‘rooned’ from chairman ‘Dame’
Margaret Jackson and CEO Geoff Dixon.

They may also hear a few more word about the 35,000 staff, but will they hear
any frank discussion of the result: that the airline did well, really well, and
will do more in the coming year, all things being equal?

Don’t hold your breath. The airline is going into defensive mode, according to
a Qantas insider. “With the proposed London base (49 have signed up for
480 slots) and the expected industrial troubles with the international cabin
crew at Christmas, the “black widow” (otherwise known as Lesley Grant GM
customer service) has moved domestic crew to all regional flying on Airbus
A330-300 and Boeing 767 (Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo) from October onwards. At
the same time she offers leave without pay to international crew. In addition
she has trained 700 strike breakers on fixed term contracts (in addition to
office staff) for 10 month.

Would not suggest to anyone to book/fly Qantas international around
Christmas. It is going to get ugly one way or another. A point confirmed in
today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Also John Borghetti and the black widow put out a staff survey trying to figure
out what Qantas staff thinks of their management and working conditions. Only
20% replied which is a great slap in the face of John and Lesley.

At any other company the alarm bells would go off but in true fashion more
negative feedback from staff gets ignored and covered up. In trying to keep
word to cut another $500 million this year from the bottom line Geoff’s all new
galaxy domestic service is in place. Read the announcement here.

And what a fiasco it is. If you watch the poor flight attendants standing in
the aisles and assembling a meal in business class (don’t sit at the rear of
business class as you only have two minutes to eat the meal before the
city flyer goes on descent), and running in tandem in economy.

This little pumpkin flew 3 times last week in coach at the rear and did not get
whatever it was meant to be (a tray but no drink as they run out of time).

However I was told by flight attendants of the new service and its pitfalls,
but the savings to Geoff is $6 million a year. Does not matter what the outcome
is for customers.

Geoff told his staff that due to changes to international accounting standards
he cannot issue shares to staff but a bonus instead. Funny enough he got both
(and plenty of it).

And I do agree the arrogance in which Qantas management treats its customers,
and staff will backfire sooner then later.

Meanwhile, Great words about the flying rat, the new nickname by its employees,
in reference to Geoff, Margaret and the ever increasing management layers in
Qantas and there ever increasing lies and sad tail stories!

At the annual results, there where actually two presentations. One for the
public and as you have correctly pointed out the usual sad Qantas story. In a
private meeting for fund managers afterwards Margaret assured the brokers this
coming year is going to be as good if not more profitable then the current
figures.

Jetstar was an existing airline all they had to do is paint the planes and
setup a new booking and marketing system. No, but since the flying rat is run
by marketing they had to spend $18 million on ads,etc. Very little on the operational side.

My belief is they have set aside $100
million to subsidize (by using Qantas resources like legal, operational, human
resources etc.) it to go every where Virgin is going (manipulate the figures so
it looks like they are always making profits). The idea is to squeeze Virgin
and by next year Jetstar will fly the same routes as Virgin to keep the Chris
Corrigan controlled airline under control.

The ongoing myth of Qantas staff being expensive. Compared to ALL major competitors
(Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, United) Qantas staff are
inexpensive. Pilots, cabin crew and ground staff are cheaper then any of the
above airlines. If you look at the annual report the flying rat Qantas, not its
other subsidiaries, have increased management by 20%.Cabin crew had a
redundancy where 10% left and had until now not been replaced. Funny the
airline has not really expended since 9/11. If anything they have pulled out
from Rome and soon Paris.
As Geoff and his mates put all there eggs in two major baskets London
and Los Angeles one can only hope
nothing goes wrong there.

Crikey: Plenty there for any shareholder going to the AGM in Brisbane
on October 21.