The National Learning Institute

Latest Articles

Enough is enough!

November 30, 2008 Bob's Blog No Comments


What’s got me going this morning?

Well, as an Australian, I was interested to hear of the proposed merger between Qantas and British Air.  Nothing new there – these sort of merger talks appear quite regularly.  However, it got me thinking about the tarnished reputation Qantas has acquired lately.  Once recognised worldwide as the world’s safest airline (those old enough to remember Dustin Hoffman’s famous lines about Qantas in “The Rainmaker” can attest), Qantas has slipped to an also-ran.

Not only is its safety reputation in tatters, service has also suffered.  In July of this year for instance, their on-time performance was around 60%.  Although they claim it is now 80% and sometimes 90%, this is nowhere good enough.

With staff being abused for the delays, no wonder they are in no mood to provide good service.

And then of course there are the planes,  according to the SMH today, “on recent Macquarie Equities numbers, there are 237 planes in the Qantas fleet (164 owned, 73 leased) with an average age of 9.1 years.  Nine jumbos are more than 20 years old.  Rack that up against our regional competitors Singapore Airlines and Emirates and we look like Dad’s Air Force.”

Further, those numbers appear to include Jetstar.   According to, the average age of a jet in the Qantas mainline fleet is 11 years.  

What’s led to the downfall of such a once great company? 

Blame must be laid squarely at the feet of the directors and senior management.  Under the guidance of Geoff Dixon and co, over the last few years costs have been reduced whilst senior salaries and perks remained high. 

This gets to the nub of my rant – the exorbitant salaries paid to senior executives.  The recent economic crisis has highlighted the disparity in remuneration between workers and management in many companies.

But there is an answer, 20 is the magic number!  Have a look at my recent article “20 is the magic number” to see my idea on how Peter Drucker’s idea that CEOs should only earn a maximum of 20 times the salary of the lowest paid worker.

Let me know what you think.


About the Author -

Bob Selden is the author of the best-selling “What To Do When You Become The Boss” – a self-help book for new managers – see details at He’s also coached at one of the world’s premier business schools, the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and regularly advises managers around the globe on their current challenges. Please add your comments to this article or contact Bob via if you would like some free advice on your current management challenge.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>