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Why do we hold unreal expectations of Qantas??

RooFlyer

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@juddles , I notice that the OP had 'disappeared' - should we be suspicious? 😊😉🤨

Check out this thread and see if that answers your question.


But seriously, juddles, if you were to fly a greater variety of airlines, you would probably understand better why people are so down on Qantas. It's simply much better elsewhere. And I don't care if the competition is Government owned or not. I'm just a passenger paying a fare. Qantas over promises and under delivers.
 

juddles

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......But seriously, juddles, if you were to fly a greater variety of airlines, you would probably understand better why people are so down on Qantas......
RooFlyer, I understand your sentiment, but want to clarify two things:

First is that I have flown quite a few airlines, in a variety of classes - in the last five years the bigger ones include, off the top of my head, Latam, Avianca, TAP, Iberia, British Airways, American, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Lufthansa, Asiana, ANA, Turkish, Aegean, Swiss Air, Thai, Cathay. And something that I may have not made obvious, and of importance, is that Qantas has been only about 25% of my flights.....

Second, is that my perspective has always been on looking at Qantas with the reality of what they face competing in a very competitive international environment. Combined no doubt with some sort of "wish" that they continue to exist. Like @BAM1748 said so very well: "I understand they don't have the Singapore girls, QF has it's issues and sometimes fail. But .... they are the home team so I go with them."

Yes, that is not exactly rational. I admit that.
 
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When I am overseas, other travellers (particularly from US & UK as well as some others) tell me how lucky we are to have QF, how is it possible they give you a drink and food on a one hour flight and what no charge for checked luggage!!!. They bit.. and complain about their domestic and international carriers ad finitum.
Primarily the USA.... in Asia you get a hot meal on everything but the very shortest of flights (HKG-CAN for example). Asia leaves aussie domestic way behind.

I think I have seen this statement several times on AFF. I cannot recall if it was you who has made it several times.

I see almost daily companies of all persuasions complain to the press, put their hand out and cry poor and expect the government to help them out with reduced taxes, handouts, controls on competitors, un-levelling the playing field, special asset improvement grants etc etc etc. It is almost an expected culture of corporates both here and abroad.

I would be interested to have any information (with associated evidence) presented where QF has actually received any commonwealth government handouts or special preferences or concessions in, lets say, the last decade that would unfairly preference them against any other carrier operating in Aus.

I am aware both QF and VA have received significant encouragement and funds from WA and QLD to move or start up special initiatives in those states where it is quid pro quo.
Sure.. i agree. Plenty of companies come to the government asking for assistance. And their requests get the appropriate analysis in the relevant forums that deal with those industries. We discuss airlines here.
 

BAM1748

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I don't have unreal expectations of QF. I have realistic expectations and in my experience they have fallen short on many occasions. Certainly, in my experience, they are one of the worst airlines in the free world.

The free world as in the free democratic countries. Wow that’s a big call.
 

RooFlyer

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First is that I have flown quite a few airlines, in a variety of classes - in the last five years the bigger ones include, off the top of my head, Latam, Avianca, TAP, Iberia, British Airways, American, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Lufthansa, Asiana, ANA, Turkish, Aegean, Swiss Air, Thai, Cathay. And something that I may have not made obvious, and of importance, is that Qantas has been only about 25% of my flights....
Goodness, I had no idea from your occasionally loquacious posts. Sorry, I misjudged your coverage ( but you have yet to do the top airlines, QR and SQ😎).


Second, is that my perspective has always been on looking at Qantas with the reality of what they face competing in a very competitive international environment. Combined no doubt with some sort of "wish" that they continue to exist. Like @BAM1748 said so very well: "I understand they don't have the Singapore girls, QF has it's issues and sometimes fail. But .... they are the home team so I go with them."
As a paying passenger, I don't care about the corporate environment. That's what Joyce gets paid megabucks to do.

And I do like to support the home team. But like any purchase - car or groceries or furniture, the loyalty goes only so far.
 

djtech

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Qantas is more profitable as ever and most people haven't or is unwilling to fly anything but Qantas. Going to London? I'm flying Qantas. Going to Singapore? I'm flying Qantas.
The airline isn't feeling the monetary impact from dwindling service to its customers so it has no reason to upset shareholders by investing more capital into various parts of its operation.

The 'unrealistic' expectations of Qantas may be that we expect too much from a for profit airline. People feel they are flying a symbol of Australia and they think it should be AMAZING! But the reality is that Qantas is no better than any other airline.

You may talk about Qantas not competing well in a competitive airline industry but other than those that did try Qatar QSuites or Singapore Airlines and experienced something better, Qantas has a halo around most common infrequent flyers that I hear most people will dismiss their flaws and continue their business with them. This extends to the corporate world as well. Many businesses and individuals book work travel exclusively on Qantas. I may pay $1000 return Brisbane to Melbourne instead Virgin is $500 because of our attachment to the Qantas brand.
 

N860CR

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I would have thought a competitive service in respect of private companies is an operation that succeeds and thrives where there is direct competition on a relatively level playing field.

Given there are other players in Aus (both international and national) and the QFs largest national competitor was bankrolled by some very large worldwide players with (was) deep pockets and QF is still there, is still growing, the only one making a profit, and has the highest load factors on some very hotly contested routes - by at least my definition they are more than competitive.
That’s why I said “international scale”. Sorry, poorly written. As a domestic carrier they do seem to be succeeding (albeit through lack of competition), but in the international market where they are competing with some genuinely very good carriers, they are simply not competitive.
 

trippin_the_rift

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That’s why I said “international scale”. Sorry, poorly written. As a domestic carrier they do seem to be succeeding (albeit through lack of competition), but in the international market where they are competing with some genuinely very good carriers, they are simply not competitive.
'Not competitive' is subjective, ya?
Qantas knows their target market and they focus on that market.

Sure they lose a few bunch of customers around the edges - but when the company is measured entire on financial performance, and the last 5 or so years have been record-breaking - it's difficult to fault the current strategy.
 
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... it's difficult to fault the current strategy.
Low fuel prices, more efficient aircraft, off-shoring call centres, foreign crews on minimal wages, pared down crews on mainline, catering for just a few dollars per person on QFd, double status credit promotions, double points promotions... yeah... it’s a strategy.

Perhaps the last two things are telling... double SCs and points... handcuffs?
 

p--and--t

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That’s why I said “international scale”. Sorry, poorly written. As a domestic carrier they do seem to be succeeding (albeit through lack of competition), but in the international market where they are competing with some genuinely very good carriers, they are simply not competitive.
I still don't understand the comment?

It appears from a casual observer not in the industry (AKA me), QFi has picked the routes it believes it can compete on and make money. i.e. They are picking their marks and succeeding, in lieu of trying to be everything to everyone and failing. (around 6 airlines went bankrupt in the last 30 days.)

On the routes it has selected, there are multiple competitors, some of the largest airlines in the world.
  • There many large outfit competitors on the major trunk routes routes QFi flies with deep pockets, some of them subsidised. Particularly on Transpac multiple competitors, but also Japan, Hong Kong and also the ME3 through to London.
  • The regular figures published on AFF show the load factors on QF metal on these routes are mostly are higher than other airlines despite the regular complaints on AFF that QF is dearer.
  • The footprint of QFi is slowly growing with additional flights (albeit with some right sizing of the metal), & vying for new slots in Japan etc.
  • Premium seats as a ratio and load factor is increasing and lifting margins.
  • Malaysian are not making any money, had bailouts, the government is propping it up and considering closing it down.
  • Cathay are struggling & restructuring (well before the riots started).
  • Etihad are well down the drain and need to do something in a hurry before they fall over.
  • SingAir has had to do some under the covers restructuring because the balance sheet was going the wrong way
  • Qatar is issuing profit warnings
  • According to press reports QF is now one of the top "earners" (whatever that means) in the industry.
QF certainly has its faults, observations of inconsistency, call hold times etc are all valid. But to say it is not "competing" - I still don't get.

Edit: crudely speaking - surely bums on seats when there is heaps of choice is being competitive
 
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N860CR

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'Not competitive' is subjective, ya?
Qantas knows their target market and they focus on that market.

Sure they lose a few bunch of customers around the edges - but when the company is measured entire on financial performance, and the last 5 or so years have been record-breaking - it's difficult to fault the current strategy.
Would anyone honestly say Qantas offers a competitive international product?

Yes recent financial performances have been good. There was a lot of creative accounting that went on during the years prior which certainly helped that so it's not reasonable to say that it's a true measure of how well they are actually doing. Moving forward (and no doubt when Joyce leaves), there are going to be a lot of hurdles that aren't being planned for at the moment.

I still don't understand the comment?
If you honestly think Qantas offers a decent international product compared to other carriers serving the country then I cannot argue that opinion with you.
 
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Qantas’ new business class is competitive.

First... no. Economy... nothing special, I’d rather have increased legroom on another carrier.

I would hope that replacing an a380 with a 787 would see an increase in load factors.
 

dajop

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It's interesting to dig into the QF business. I know everyone creates a really rosy picture, financially. They are doing great domestically, but just OK internationally.

QF do have a stellar domestic business, with EBIT of ~ $700m, and operating margins averaging 11% over last 5 years. Very good for an airline. They have done something right to be the dominant player in a nice duopoly. This contrasts to the struggles during capacity war when their EBIT went as low as $30m... and to quote their annual report ... "Market capacity increases above demand between 2012 and 2014 put intense pressure on yields and reduced the domestic profit pool " . They are lauded far and wide for their turnaround, but the ceasefire in the capacity war was probably a the key factor in their turnaround.

International, financially suffers from much more intense competition, and thus only has had operating margins averaging 6% over last 5 years. With recent capacity increases, last year their EBIT of $285m , and 3.8% operating margin down from $570m and 8.9% in 2016 (when aviation fuel was at its lowest price. Worst performance 2014, huge losses, jet fuel $120USD/barrel,best 2016, $50USD/barrel, FY19 back up to $80 USD/barrel, and EBIT/margins suffered. One would suggest their success internationally is primarily tied to fuel prices, and investments in expansion in international may be more difficult to pull off.

Jetstar has margin of arond 10% and brings in more EBIT than international, whilst loyalty is the standout, as we all know, $370m EBIT @ ~22% margin.

Overall, well run, a slick marketing machine, leveraging fully the financial benefits of a cosy domestic duopoly (reflected in domestic, loyalty and Jetstar).
 
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p--and--t

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It's interesting to dig into the QF business. I know everyone creates a really rosy picture, financially. They are doing great domestically, but just OK internationally.

QF do have a stellar domestic business, with EBIT of ~ $700m, and operating margins averaging 11% over last 5 years. Very good for an airline. They have done something right to be the dominant player in a nice duopoly. This contrasts to the struggles during capacity war when their EBIT went as low as $30m... and to quote their annual report ... "Market capacity increases above demand between 2012 and 2014 put intense pressure on yields and reduced the domestic profit pool " . They are lauded far and wide for their turnaround, but the ceasefire in the capacity war was probably a the key factor in their turnaround.

International, financially suffers from much more intense competition, and thus only has had operating margins averaging 6% over last 5 years. With recent capacity increases, last year their EBIT of $285m , and 3.8% operating margin down from $570m and 8.9% in 2016 (when aviation fuel was at its lowest price. Worst performance 2014, huge losses, jet fuel $120USD/barrel,best 2016, $50USD/barrel, FY19 back up to $80 USD/barrel, and EBIT/margins suffered. One would suggest their success internationally is primarily tied to fuel prices, and investments in expansion in international may be more difficult to pull off.

Jetstar has margin of arond 10% and brings in more EBIT than international, whilst loyalty is the standout, as we all know, $370m EBIT @ ~22% margin.

Overall, well run, a slick marketing machine, leveraging fully the financial benefits of a cosy domestic duopoly (reflected in domestic, loyalty and Jetstar).
Thanks. That is very informative and not just the usual lounges or check-in staff are crap or whatever type comment.

Have you analysed similar data for any other competitor airlines to get a comparative picture?
 

djtech

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They should be looking to root out the bad apples in the crew that make the QF experience so inconsistent. That’s not expecting too much from a for-profit?
My personal feeling is that Qantas is not motivated to improve its inflight and ground service because they simply don't see it as much of a problem given their record profits. Whilst some (or many in the grand scheme of things) are complaining, it doesn't translate to the balance sheets. As a for profit airline, I would not care to improve if overall public image is still good (even if deteriorating) and making record profits.

And I'll chime in with my own personal experience that over 5 years of flying Qantas, there is a service level I've come to expect and is always met.
 

kyle

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As someone who's not born in Australia, I've only treated Qantas as any other company. My earliest memory of Qantas was flying to Australia on a guided tour when I was about 5. And on trips since then once I've moved to Australia, my memories are always of old and overweight flight attendants.

When Virgin came along filled with young and enthusiastic flight attendants, I became hooked and never looked back.

Then when Qantas introduced those lounge dress rules and as someone who loves the casual lifestyle, that just sealed my dislike of Qantas.
 

p--and--t

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A slightly off topic comment.

Decades ago I was working somewhere where I was supplied regular statistics of a large number of "branches" throughout a couple of states. There were 2 feeds, the complaints coming in from customers and the errors or exceptions or faults/downtime that the technology was counting.

An interesting result of studying the results over nearly a year was that if the technology reported something happened at one place that the technology was reporting on average was the most reliable, then the customer complaint rate went through the roof. Almost the reverse occurred where we were struggling to maintain service and needed to upgrade etc.

The clear observable behaviours shown on the graphs coming out of the study showed on an average across the population (i.e. removing those who complained regularly because it is in their nature to do so), was that if you do well most of the time and there is a noticeable exception, customers react and complain like crazy, but if you repeatedly serve up inconsistent or low levels of service and something relatively noticeable happens, customers go "ho hum" and don't ring/write in etc to complain.
 

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