The Australian and International Pilots Association has raised concerns about Qantas’s newly announced Jetstar Hong Kong venture.
AIPA President Captain Barry Jackson said pilots were worried that the fifty-fifty venture between Qantas Group and China Eastern Airlines looked to be following a well-worn path.
“Since the collapse of management’s much trumpeted ‘Red Q’ joint venture plan in Malaysia, they have justifiably been under enormous pressure from investors and the flying public to put a clear plan forward for Qantas,” he said.
“My suspicion is that today’s announcement has been rushed out to keep the shareholders from banging down the backdoor for a little while.
“Like so much of what this current management does, it has a smoke and mirrors feel about it and I suspect nothing will happen anytime soon.
“This management sadly has a pattern of triumphant announcement followed by slow disintegration. This announcement once again looks to be following the path of raising more questions than answers.
“Will Jetstar Hong Kong take over seven years to turn a single dollar like Jetstar Asia? Or will it be more like Jetstar Pacific by sucking money out Qantas Group for years before being resumed by the National Carrier?
"How does Qantas management intend to get over the regulatory hurdles? Hong Kong has ver strict Incorporation and Principle Place of Business (IPPB) legislation that protects the city’s economy, so Jetstar must ensure they have done their homework.
“How will the fifty-fifty split with China Eastern Airlines work in practice? Who will take responsibility for standards? If things go pear-shaped, as they have in the past with other joint ventures who will carry the can? As yet not one cent has come back to Australian investors so it is understandable that they are nervous.
“This current Qantas management seems intent of pursuing tricky, high-risk manoeuvres in Asia while jettisoning the strengths that have been built into the Qantas brand for over 90 years.
“That kind of approach is not good for investors, it’s not good for staff and – most importantly - it’s not good for the flying public.”
Anil Lambert (Mountain Media) 0416 426 722