Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has gone on a PR blitz following a series of mechanical issues resulting in planes turning back, lost luggage complaints hitting record highs and irate passengers fuming at last minute flight cancelations.
“Knowing that we were routinely letting customers down was hugely disappointing for everyone at Qantas,” he said in an op-ed published in The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Last August, we apologised and promised to fix it. And almost every week after that, things improved.
“We’ve now been the most on-time of the major domestic airlines for five months in a row. Our service levels – bags, cancellations, catering and the call centre – are back to what customers expect from us.”
Speaking on the spate of flight turnbacks, Joyce said they were of a sign of strong safety systems rather than a reflection of cost-cutting measures or old aircraft.
“These have received a huge amount of attention because we had several in quick succession, but despite the hype, they are actually a symptom of strong safety systems,” he said.
“Our pilots always err on the side of caution because that’s what we train them to do. If an onboard system isn’t working the way it should, they will often decide to land rather than pressing on to the destination. I encourage them to keep doing it. And despite the obvious inconvenience, I think most of our customers do, too.
“We will always put safety before schedule. But as the figures and our record shows, Qantas is back to delivering on both.”