To get through a crisis like this you need to be bold, decisive and take the hard decisions to safeguard the health of the business. That’s according to Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall who admits “aviation is a tough industry, but immensely rewarding”.
Like many airline companies Qantas, Jetstar’s parent company, has been forced to weather the global financial storm over the past 18 months. But what recession lessons has the global carrier learned from this challenging period?
At the time of when the global financial crisis hit, a new leadership team was taking the reins at the Qantas, explains Hall, who will address delegates at the marcus evans Agile Organisations: Business and Process Transformation conference in Sydney later this month.
“We used the crisis to make decisions that were necessary for the short term, but also good for the long term. We didn’t waste the opportunity. Now we are coming out of the crisis.”
Among the measures introduced was an increase of its Group liquidity with AUS$3.4 billion of new funding and future debt facilities including a $514 million capital raising. The company also took out nearly 800 senior and middle management positions and froze executive pay.
In addition, Qantas is targeting AUS$100 million in cost savings from improvements in IT service delivery.
Hall concedes the future is “never guaranteed” and a lot of hard work has to be done to steer the company in the right direction.
“But we are incredibly well positioned with our 32,000 people, 254 aircraft, two great brands, an incredible history and a committed leadership team. The key to our success today and tomorrow will be how well we maximise the benefits of the two brand strategy,” he adds.
By executing its two brand strategy – Qantas and Jetstar – the company has “a rare flexibility in aviation to ride the economic cycles up and down, apply leverage in different sectors of the market, and maintain robust cash flow”.
“We want to be recognised as best in its class. Our two airlines will not try to be all things to customers. They will not drift up and down the product and service spectrum in search of some elusive composite position. It’s our first priority. It is never compromised,” he affirms.
The marcus evans Agile Organisations: Business and Process Transformation will take place in Sydney, 20-21 September, 2010.
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