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In nosedive, Qantas CEO Joyce may find path to safety

Published on Feb 28, 2014 6:19 AM
 
Qantas Group chief executive officer Alan Joyce speaks at a press conference in Sydney on Feb 27, 2014. Whether through error or circumstance, Qantas Airways Ltd's spectacular fall from grace is giving chief executive Alan Joyce his best chance of steering the airline toward long-term salvation. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Whether through error or circumstance, Qantas Airways Ltd's spectacular fall from grace is giving chief executive Alan Joyce his best chance of steering the airline toward long-term salvation.

Mr Joyce has called on the Australian government to help the national flag carrier in its hour of need. If Canberra is convinced Qantas is in peril, it may have little option but to abandon decades of resistance and provide state aid.

The executive needs little help making a convincing case: losses from a domestic price war and international competition are piling up; Qantas is now worth only half what it was when Joyce took the helm in 2007; and its credit rating is now junk across the board.

The AUD$2 billion (S$2.26 billion) cost savings and 5,000 job cuts Mr Joyce announced on Thursday represent the airline's most radical shake-up since it was privatised in 1995.

 
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