In July 2003, Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon called Alan Joyce, a fresh-faced young Irishman he had hired to the airline just over two years earlier, into his office to ask him to take the job of steering a project to start a low-cost airline.
Joyce had just turned 37, and willingly accepted the chance of a lifetime. Dixon had resisted the urgings of other senior Qantas executives to appoint someone they knew better, instead of the new recruit from Ansett. However, Dixon wanted an executive with out-of-the-box thinking. He did not want someone whose judgment would be clouded by historic aviation practices.
Edited extract from the book Mayday: How warring egos forced Qantas off course by Matt O'Sullivan, published on January 28 by Viking, rrp $32.99.
Read more: Tough Joyce: Jetstar's difficult birth
Looks like it might be an interesting book and will certainly shed light on what went on in Qantas during the times of change in the airline industry.