Finance Finance News Qantas boss paid nearly $2m while flights mostly grounded

Qantas boss paid nearly $2m while flights mostly grounded

qantas international
Qantas will bring forward the restart of a range of international flights as borders reopen.
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Qantas boss Alan Joyce had a pay rise to almost $2 million in the past financial year, while thousands of staff were cut due to the effect of COVID-19.

Mr Joyce took home more than the $1.74 million he collected the previous financial year, when sales were at their lowest levels.

The chief executive’s earnings have been about 80 per cent less than his pre-pandemic annual earnings of about $10 million, according to Qantas’ annual report.

Executives last year took pay cuts as sales plummeted from bans on flying overseas and quarantine rules.

The company in August posted a full-year net loss of $1.73 billion for 2021.

On Friday, chairman Richard Goyder told staff that board members were considering a bonus for all employees.

Workers have had a two-year wage freeze as part of the airline’s efforts to conserve money.

Qantas remuneration committee chairman Paul Rayner said the challenges and demands put on employees had caused significant attrition.

Continuing loss of experienced workers would affect the airline’s ability to meet its goals, he said.

More than 8500 Qantas workers have either been cut or taken redundancies since last year. There were about 29,000 workers before the pandemic.

Qantas recently revealed a lucrative rewards program for vaccinated travellers as it pushed to return to international flights from later this year.

Mr Joyce said the vaccine rollout was critical for protecting public health and key to breaking the cycle of lockdowns across Australia

“For us, getting the vaccine rate up to 70 and 80 per cent means thousands of people can go back to work,” Mr Joyce said.

“With the federal government’s vaccine program ramping up across the country, now is the ideal time to say thank you to Australians for stepping up and protecting themselves and others.”

The airline has also recently begun selling tickets to international destinations such as Singapore, Britain, the US, Japan and Canada from December 18. It also expects flights to and from New Zealand to resume in mid-December.

Mr Joyce said in mid-August that Qantas’s plans were centred around national cabinet’s reopening plan.

“The prospect of flying overseas might feel a long way off, especially with NSW and Victoria in lockdown, but the current pace of the vaccine rollout means we should have a lot more freedom in a few months’ time,” he said.

“It’s obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open, but with Australia on track to meet the 80 per cent trigger agreed by national cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process.”

Across the country, 70.5 per cent of over-16s have had one vaccine dose, as of Friday. In other significant milestones on Friday, NSW reached 50 per cent of its eligible residents fully vaccinated and Victoria hit 70 per cent with their first shots.

-with AAP