Collapse of Red Q Malaysia plan provides welcome opportunity to refocus

Collapse of Red Q Malaysia plan provides welcome opportunity to refocus

The predictable collapse of the ‘Red Q’ Malaysia plan offers a welcome opportunity for Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and his team to finally turn their focus onto rebuilding the badly damaged Qantas brand, the Australian and International Pilots Association said today.

The so-called Malaysia solution – to divert existing Australian Qantas resources into a new ‘Red Q’ brand in Asia – was announced by Mr Joyce last year. AIPA, along with several leading aviation experts, warned at the time the plan was completely unfeasible and a waste of energy and resources.

AIPA Vice President Captain Richard Woodward said final confirmation of the plan’s collapse today may actually be exactly what Qantas needs.

“It’s obviously disappointing to see the current management of this great Australian icon pouring so much time and energy into something that was never going to get off the ground,” he said.

“Qantas pilots have said from the very start that the plan to divert much-needed Australian resources into pie-in-the-sky ventures in Southeast Asia was ridiculous and unfeasible. In truth, confirmation of its failure should have come a lot sooner.

“However, despite the waste, the withdrawal from this plan is actually a fantastic opportunity for this still great airline. Despite the damage that was dealt out to the brand last year through the grounding, there is huge potential to repair and rebuild Qantas, which, just a few short years ago, was the number one brand in the country.

“On behalf of pilots and the travelling public I urge Mr Joyce – take this as a lesson, adapt your strategy, recognise the damage that has been caused and start working with your staff to improve things.

“Qantas has played a vital role in Australia for 90 years – it can continue doing so for another 90 years, but it needs a management which is prepared to build on the airline’s strengths instead of consuming energy pursuing half-baked, adventurist plans in Asia.

“Qantas has two core brand strengths: unique Australian identity and an unparalleled safety reputation built on the highest Australian standards. Focus on these if you want to strengthen the airline.

“I want to assure Mr Joyce, despite the damage of the last year, pilots are 100 per cent ready to work with him to rebuild the brand.”