Qantas takes a nosedive in world airline rankings

A Qantas Boeing 787 is marshalled to the parking area.
Photo Credit: Qantas Instagram

The Australian national flag carrier Qantas has experienced a significant drop in its ranking, falling from 5th to 17th place in the world airline rankings at Skytrax in 2023.

This decline can perhaps be attributed to several key prevailing factors which have dogged the airline, including customer service issues, flight cancellations, and also fierce competition within the industry.

Customer Service Challenges

Customer service has been a persisting challenge for Qantas in recent years. Passengers have expressed dissatisfaction with long delays, incidents of lost luggage, and encounters with impolite staff members.

In 2022, Qantas had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of long delays (over 3 hours) among major global airlines. Additionally, the airline faced a substantial number of reported lost luggage cases during the same period.

Flight Cancellations and Disruptions

Flight cancellations have also plagued Qantas in recent months, further contributing to its decline. The airline has been forced to cancel numerous flights due to various factors, including staff shortages and technical issues.

A notable incident occurred in February 2023, when Qantas had to cancel over 100 flights due to a technical problem with its Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Intensified Competition

The intensifying competition within the airline industry has presented another challenge for Qantas. Airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Emirates have invested significantly in new aircraft and cutting-edge technologies, offering passengers an enhanced customer experience.

This increased competition has placed Qantas at a disadvantage, as its rivals provide superior services and amenities.

Qantas Efforts for Improvement

Recognizing the need for change, Qantas has pledged to address the issues impacting its customer service and operational efficiency. The airline has expressed its commitment to enhancing customer experiences and reducing flight cancellations.

Furthermore, Qantas is actively investing in new aircraft and advanced technologies to improve its overall operations. However, the success of these efforts in restoring Qantas’s position as a world-leading airline remains uncertain.

Determining whether Qantas can regain its status as one of the world’s leading airlines requires more time. However, Qantas has a history of successfully overcoming challenges, which instills hope for its future prospects.

Through its resilience and dedication, the airline has the potential to regain its position by implementing effective strategies, enhancing customer service, and consistently delivering a superior travel experience.

Can the new CEO turn things around?

Outside view of Qantas headqarters.
MDRX, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The new CEO taking the helm from Alan Joyce at Qantas Group is Vanessa Hudson. She will be the first female CEO of the national carrier in its 103-year history.

Hudson has been with Qantas for 28 years in a number of senior roles, including Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President for Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand.

She will continue in her current role until taking over as Qantas’ 13th CEO at the 2023 annual general meeting.

Hudson is a graduate of the University of Queensland and the Harvard Business School. She is a qualified pilot and has held a number of senior roles in the aviation industry.

Relevantly, Hudson is seen as a strong and experienced leader. She is passionate about Qantas and is committed to ensuring the airline’s continued success. She is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Hudson will perhaps walk into the top role with a massive job on her hands; namely resetting the dynamic for the Flying Kangaroo.

Beyond that, the airline possesses several strengths, such as strong brand recognition, a loyal customer base, and an extensive long-haul network and fleet which will both see substantial upgrades in the near future.

With its proven track record of overcoming obstacles, Qantas has the potential to weather the storm and emerge as a leading player once again in the global airline industry. Only time will reveal the outcome of its efforts and the direction its future takes.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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