Qantas staff overjoyed after Alan Joyce’s early exit from the airline

Qantas staff overjoyed after Alan Joyce’s early exit from the airline: ‘We’re celebrating wildly’

The abrupt departure of Qantas boss Alan Joyce sparked jubilant staff celebrations as a former captain weighed into the saga to blast the airline over the ‘unimaginable’ crisis.

Mr Joyce, 57, was due to retire in November but had been under growing pressure in recent days, which threw the airline into crisis mode and sparked his early exit on Tuesday.

Retired Qantas pilot captain Richard de Crespigny was on board a flight on Tuesday when the news broke mid-air that Joyce was gone, sparking extraordinary celebrations.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce left Qantas in an abrupt departure on Tuesday. He's pictured with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the PM's partner Jodie Haydon

‘Engagement is at an all-time low in Qantas, in fact they’ve got two aircraft currently grounded because of accidents by ground handling.’

‘You’ve got to remember they laid off ground handlers two years ago I think, unfairly, and the airline and the passengers suffered as a consequence.’

Pilots and cabin crew weren’t the only Qantas staff cheering.

‘We’re celebrating wildly, not just because he’s leaving but because his hero narrative has massively failed,’ a ground staff member told A Current Affair on Tuesday.

The response from customers was just as brutal.

Mr de Crespigny, who worked for Qantas for 34 years warned the airline won’t regain trust overnight.

‘It’s built in teaspoons and destroyed in shovel loads,’ he said.

‘It takes incredible skill, determination and empathy to build it up; it’s got to be protected.’

Former Qantas captain Richard de Crespigny (pictured)  was travelling on a flight when news of Joyce's demise emerged on Tuesday, sparking wild celebrations

The abrupt departure of Qantas boss Alan Joyce has sparked jubilant celebrations from Qantas staff (stock photo of Qantas crew)

He slammed the governance of his former workplace, saying it’s ‘unimaginable’ that management continues to receive pay boosts while the airline is failing to perform.

‘For the passengers and the staff that have suffered at the hands of poor Qantas governance … they find it unimaginable that the CEO and executives should get a massive pay boost when the airline is failing,’ Mr de Crespigny added.

Joyce was initially well-liked and respected by Qantas staff when he first stepped into the role 15 years ago.

‘He did start Jetstar, which is a successful low-cost airline, where most have not succeeded,’ Mr de Crespigny told A Current Affair on Tuesday.

Relations turned sour after Mr Joyce locked out employees during an industrial dispute before hundreds of staff lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Some of them didn’t come out of it well at all. They lost their jobs, they lost their houses, they lost their marriages,’ de Crespigny said.

‘The workers that held Qantas up … they really suffered greatly.

‘And it hasn’t been a good vision to see the executive team, the CEO, continue to get bonuses at the expense of maybe baggage handlers and other people that have lost their jobs. This is not a good example of leadership.’


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