In a media address for Qantas’ full-year results on Thursday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce warned of steep airfare increases.
He said the upcoming increase would be 20% on international fares and a 10% increase on domestic fares to cover Qantas’ rising fuel bill.
“It’s fair to say that fuel prices have risen dramatically,” he said.
“We anticipate our fuel costs will be 60% higher this year than in 2019, before COVID.”
That means we’ll spend a billion dollars more on fuel than we did in 2019, and we’ll only be doing 75% of our international flying and less than 100% of our domestic flying, resulting in a significant cost increase.
“We will continue to provide value to people, but it comes at a cost that we cannot bear given what we have been through.”
Mr Joyce told 2GB on Friday that he and Qantas should be judged based on the national carrier’s future performance, even though both the airline and himself are under increasing public scrutiny.
Qantas’ $50 apology vouchers for months of delays, cancellations, and mishandled baggage were criticised on Monday, and the Transport Workers Union demanded Mr Joyce step down.
On Friday, Mr Joyce was questioned about how much he earned while thousands of Qantas employees were laid off as COVID forced the closure of Australia’s borders and a steep decline in the carrier’s profits.
On Thursday, Qantas announced a $1.86 billion pre-tax annual loss for 2021-2022.
“To survive, we had to make tough decisions,” Mr Joyce told 2GB’s, Ben Fordham.
“I had friends for 20 years in my office, and I was in tears, making them redundant.”
Mr Joyce stated that pandemic job cuts had reached even the highest levels of Qantas, with 30% of those in head office roles being made redundant.
Qantas laid off 6000 staff in 2020 and another 2000 ground staff months later to outsource their work. The Federal Court later ruled that the decision was unlawful.
Mr Joyce also told Fordham that his salary was tied to Qantas’ performance and that he would not receive the reported $200 million in bonuses.
“This is the most difficult time in aviation history,” he said.
“The restart hasn’t gone as flawlessly as we had hoped. We should be doing better and will do better.”