Feb 21, 2014

Crikey Clarifier: how raw is Qantas’ deal compared with rivals?

Qantas execs say they're not operating on a level playing field. With their competitors getting plenty of goodies and subsidies from their governments they want some too. Do they have a point?

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

Any day now you can expect an announcement of some sort of lifeline for Qantas, which has been grovelling to the government for months about its dire financial woes. Qantas says it’s not operating on a level playing field and needs government assistance to compete with its competition.


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11 thoughts on “Crikey Clarifier: how raw is Qantas’ deal compared with rivals?

  1. drmick

    How many of these companies have enacted a strategy that grounded their fleet and left customers stranded in airports around the world to prove a point?
    How many of their competitors had enough financial reserves to run a “fighting fund” to bring down the unions that service its aircraft? the very unions that gave it its unrivalled safety record?
    If Joyce left the country for good, after paying back all the money he wasted, and recompensed the people he criminally endangered for personal amusement, it would hurt a lot less.

  2. Bill Hilliger

    Most of Qantas’ major international competitors — including Emirates, Singapore, Air New Zealand — are partly or wholly government owned. So was Qantas at one time.

  3. Mark from Melbourne

    So the line you are running is that because Qantas has to compete with subsidised businesses we should subsidise them too? Isn’t that the same situation as Holden, Ford etc?

  4. AR

    I know it’s out there on the edge, but how about Qantas try delivering a decent service, at a competitive price (actually I’d pay a premium, just as in the supamart to buy OZ)to a core route?
    “Tell ‘im he’s dreaming”, I know.

  5. Myriam Robin

    Hi Mark from Melbourne. No ‘line’, just a fact check. Qantas isn’t on a level playing field, but I think it takes more than that to make an argument for assistance.

  6. TheFamousEccles

    Bill Hilliger makes the point that has often crossed my mind over the past few years of Joyce’s stewardship. Qantas needs to get rid of this clown and his diversionary union bashing and bleats about “level playing fields” and get on with providing value.

  7. Draco Houston

    Really makes me wonder why anyone thought privatizing QANTAS was a good idea

  8. macca

    Ben – thanks. I am feeling more sympathetic to the argument for proving a debt guarantee, but I can’t reconcile with the wasteful Chairman’s Club revelations (for me, at least).

  9. Philip Swain

    Hang on a minute , this article is highlighting the uncompetitiveness of QANTAS internationally but isn’t it equally struggling on domestic routes an area where it used it’s monopoly position previously to send other airlines to the wall? Isn’t it’s main competition Virgin (a wholly private owned company)? Am I missing something, or is it that Joyce has tried to make it a domestic budget airline and failed horribly? I fly Virgin domestically and internationally and have had the misery of flying QANTAS and Jetstar in recent years and the one big difference no one wants to talk about is “service, service, service” !!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Scott Macander

    Philip I don’t believe Qantas Domestic are struggling, rather it is all about the International section which would explain why they changed hubs from SIN to DXB and formed the alliance with EK.

    As for your comment about their main domestic competitor being Virgin you are right and yes they are technically a wholly owned private company. But what you have failed to realise is that while Virgin is entitled to the same protected domestic routes as Qantas, Virgin ‘Australia’ is over 70% owned by foreigners – Sir Richard Branson (10%) Singapore Airlines (19.9%), Etihad (currently 19.9% but recently applied for more) and Air New Zealand (23%). Meanwhile, Qantas has to endure the Qantas Sale Act and can’t just go running to other airlines (read Governments) for more money when the going gets tough.

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