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Qantas CEO Steps Down After Scandal

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Today’s News

Qantas Airways Ltd. CEO Alan Joyce has decided to step down prematurely, a jarring exit for one of aviation’s highest profile leaders after claims of the airline selling tickets for thousands of flights after they have already been canceled.

Joyce is due to hand over all operational aspects to Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hudson by November as his departure is dated Sept 6, Qantas said in a statement earlier today. CFO Vanessa Hudson is now tasked to repair the carrier’s tattered reputation with customers as regulators tighten their focus on Qantas’s dominance of the Australia’s aviation market.

Hudson’s untimely succession shows an airline bowing to public anger over the alleged sale last year of seats on flights that were never going to take off. The scandal, the latest in a series of blows to Qantas’ reputation in recent months, has been amplified by the airline’s record-breaking profits.

Qantas shares rose as much as 0.5% in early Sydney trading Tuesday. Joyce’s unexpected departure after 15 years at the helm is an extraordinary concession, just weeks before a planned formal farewell at the airline’s annual general meeting.

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After the Qantas controversy, Australia is relying on two billion-dollar listings to save it from the worst year on record for initial public offerings as local companies have only raised about AUD 885 million through first-time share sales so far in 2023, even as Virgin Airlines hopes to refloat. This comes after 2022, which was itself the slowest year for IPOs in Australia since 2012, with just AUD 1.1 billion raised.

Source: The West Australian

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Source: ShareCafe

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Qantas was served with a class-action lawsuit by lawyers who allege the airline’s failure to refund passengers for flights cancelled during the pandemic and illegally benefited by retaining billions of dollars of customer funds.

Source: 7NEWS

By instead issuing flight credits with strict conditions of travel, the Australian airline enriched itself with interest-free financing at its customers’ expense, according to a lawsuit filed in the Federal Court last week by Echo Law and served on Qantas yesterday. Qantas retorted in a statement, rejecting the claims.

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Industry Dynamics

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