Qantas has a serious issues management problem. Not just with safety and the A380s, which are coming back into service after the recent Rolls Royce engine malfunction, but also with the communication surrounding their return. CEO Alan Joyce told Frequent Flyers: “I want to assure you that we have full confidence in our A380 aircraft fleet, and will not fly any individual aircraft unless we are completely sure that it is safe to do so.” To me, that reinforces rather than eases the issue with safety.
Perhaps better not to have said anything except ‘back in service, schedules normal’.
Then over the weekend Joyce took the A380 relaunch flight to prove all was ok. Again, I think why would he do that? The only reason is that they do have an issue with safety, both in perception and also reality. Maybe better to do a low-key flight rather than having your CEO do the meet and greet at Sydney Airport, footage of which was conveniently on hand (and replayed) when 300 passengers had to make alternative arrangements when a 747 was unable to take off from Sydney on Saturday night due to technical issue.
Compunding the issue was the lack of staff on hand to deal with the mess. According to passengers interviewed on ABC News there was just a single person on hand to assist. A total shambles that no amount of spin can overcome, and perhaps a metaphor for the mess Qantas is now in.