Qantas is pouring $80 million into customer service improvements across the 2024 financial year.
The investment, funded from the Flying Kangaroo’s profits, is in addition to $150 million that has already been budgeted, and comes not long after new CEO Vanessa Hudson recorded a video apology to customers for the airline’s recent missteps.
“This additional investment is aimed at addressing a number of customer ‘pain points’ through improvements such as better contact centre resourcing and training, an increase in the number seats that can be redeemed with Frequent Flyer points, more generous recovery support when operational issues arise, a review of longstanding policies for fairness and improvements to the quality of inflight catering,” Qantas said in a statement.
“Qantas is also working to accelerate some initiatives already underway, such as the re-platforming of the Qantas app. More detail on these actions will be shared in coming weeks.”
In its market update, the carrier also revealed strong overall travel demand, with similar trading conditions in the first quarter of FY24 to the same time last financial year.
“Qantas and Jetstar expect to carry more than 4 million passengers over the September/October school holidays and football finals period on almost 35,000 domestic and international services. This compares with around 3.7 million passengers on approximately 28,000 services over the same four week period last year,” said Qantas.
“New aircraft deliveries and wet-leasing arrangements will help Qantas and Jetstar boost international capacity by 12 percentage points by the end of the calendar year – an increase of almost 50 additional flights a week.
“This includes Qantas resuming its Sydney-Shanghai services and starting two new routes, Brisbane-Wellington and Brisbane-Honiara, as well as a new Jetstar service from Brisbane to Tokyo.”
The airline also warned that fuel prices have risen by around 30 per cent since May, including a 10 per cent spike since August, and says its fuel bill is expected to rise by approximately $200 million to $2.8 billion after hedging in the first half of FY24.
“The Group will continue to absorb these higher costs, but will monitor fuel prices in the weeks ahead and, if current levels are sustained, will look to adjust its settings,” it said.
“Any changes would look to balance the recovery of higher costs with the importance of affordable travel in an environment where fares are already elevated.”