The Premiers of NSW and Victoria are reported this morning as having written to the Prime Minister urging intervention in the Qantas  disputes to save domestic tourism.

Perhaps they need to take the interests of tourism into factual account.

Qantas is halving its slot access to London from the end of March, which apart from Frankfurt is the only European destination it serves, and all of Europe is very, very relevant to their tourism industries.

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Qantas is doing this to fund a minority owned Asian carrier which will use single aisle A320s that can’t even fly non-stop to Melbourne or Sydney from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, the cities where it wants to establish the new venture.

The leisure and tourism airline in the Qantas group is Jetstar, which has not been affected by the industrial disputes.

The Qantas attitude to Victoria is that it thinks its tourism interests are best served by flying via Sydney, one of the brilliant strategic decisions that has seen the market ditch it for the big supporters of Melbourne airport’s international services, which are Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Thai International.

Hint. Who sponsors the Melbourne Cup and Docklands?

If there is one thing that characterises the Qantas disputes so far it is a resolute avoidance by the general media and Australian governments of the material issues in which Qantas has embarked on a deliberate policy of shrinking the full service brand for sham operations like NZ based Jetconnect, which is painted up as Qantas The Spirit of Australia, and the rotation of exhausted Asia based flight attendants through domestic services via Jetstar tag flights.

The painful reality is that the Qantas dispute is not about improving tourism. It is about outsourcing as much of the Qantas operation off shore as possible under the guise of subsidiary operations, and the shutting down of what the current management sees as unaffordable excellence in its full service operations.


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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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