In Focus

Flying past disaster

Grounded planes. Fuming unions. Government intervention. Qantas’ brush with disaster 10 years ago sounds more familiar than we may care to admit.

There’s a line from one of Geoffrey Thomas’ articles that, lost in the middle of the coronavirus crisis as we are, jams in your head like a door stop: “This dispute is about jobs and whether there will be a recognisable aviation industry based in Australia in the future.” Qantas’ extraordinary battle of attrition with the unions nearly a decade ago might not have been contagious, but, in many ways, the panic, the anger and the fear were. No industry bungy jumps towards a furnace quite like ours. The articles that follow made for compelling reading back in 2011, but, right now, provide a whole new perspective with the benefit of hindsight.

During this current downturn, Australian Aviation’s new publisher, Momentum Media, commissioned a huge, ongoing survey that has so far been completed by 6,000 professionals, including 900 in our sector. The aim was to not only try and quantify the personal loss but demonstrate it through words, too. So, while numbers revealed more than 60 per cent of respondents had their hours cut, it also gave readers a chance to tell us how they were feeling.

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