Power Move

Alan Joyce finds friend in market

Qantas chief Alan Joyce may be having a difficult week attempting to sell his restructure for the business, but there's one key supporter backing him -- the market.

Qantas shares closed 5 cents higher yesterday at $1.575. This followed a relatively slow day Tuesday when Joyce announced that the airline would axe 1000 jobs in Australia, launch two new airlines in Asia and put in an order for aircraft worth billions of dollars.

The rally came in the face of politicians, unions, pilots, engineers and some parts of the media urging Joyce to re-think the plans.

Transport minister Anthony Albanese said the Government will be examining the restructure to see if it breaches privatisation rules outlined in the Qantas Sale Act of 1992, while Senator Nick Xenophon has promised to introduce a bill to prevent Qantas from using foreign workers over local pilots and crew.

Meanwhile, industrial action looks set to escalate next week with Barry Jackson, president of the Australia and International Pilots Association, declaring in a statement that they will be doing "everything we can to stop this destructive strategy for Qantas's future".

Since joining Qantas in 2008 from its offshoot Jetstar, Joyce has led a range of cost cutting initiatives at the airline. He told reporters this week that more needed to be done.

"To do nothing, or tinker around the edges, would only guarantee the end of Qantas International in our home Australian market. That would be a tragedy".


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