Michael Pascoe writes:

Union bashing can come at a cost, as
Qantas and its passengers might be about to find out.

The threat to move 747 maintenance off shore has been a PR disaster for the airline and the discomfit isn’t going away
with maintenance worker protests this morning.

With Qantas continuing to take an IR
hardline – and refusing to take Crikey’s advice to really save money by
outsourcing the CEO’s job to Asia – the marginal passenger might well start to
wonder about the Virgin Blue alternative when a flight is crucial.

The Qantas share price has been rallying
this year, as have profitable airlines around the world, but it’s taken a
thumping this week greater than its dividend to be trading this morning at
$3.69. Some of that fall has been put down to activity around Virgin Blue with
Toll back in the running for Patrick, but the prospect of any flight disruption
wouldn’t please the market either.