Qantas reveals it spent almost $400k on plane ‘Yes’ logos during heated AGM

Qantas revealed at its annual general meeting in Melbourne today that it spent $370,000 on its public support for the “Yes’ campaign.

The funds went to painting the campaign logo onto three planes, as pictured below, as well as flights for officials involved in the ‘Yes’ campaign. Whether said flights for officials were obtained at ‘cost’ is unclear.

Chairman Richard Goyder said management and the board were both behind the decision to back the campaign.

“We knew there would be a diverse set of views but we thought it was important to endorse the ‘Yes’ campaign,” Goyder said.

Goyder started the AGM with an apologetic tone, with his opening remarks making it clear the executives aren’t expecting Christmas bonuses.

“It’s clear there has been a substantial loss of trust in the national carrier,” he said.

“And we understand why. There are things we got wrong, things we should have handled better, things we should have fixed, faster. And for all of those, we apologise.

“It’s clear that there will be an overwhelming vote against our remuneration report, which is almost a complete reversal of the ninety-plus per cent support in recent years.

“Please know this: we hear the message this strong vote sends, particularly in response to broader frustration with past events, and it galvanises our efforts to restore your confidence.”

New CEO Vanessa Hudson was also sombre: “There are many things, big and small, that we didn’t get right,” she said in her opening remarks.

“I apologise to you, our shareholders, today.”

Goyder soon lost patience though, shutting down a speaker from the Australian Shareholders’ Association who questioned why outgoing CEO Alan Joyce was able to offload 80% of his shares in July at market price, despite a looming consumer watchdog investigation, which has since seen share prices drop by 22%.

This shutdown attracted boos and cries of “shame” from the shareholders, as Goyder denied any wrongdoing.

“I have absolutely zero concern about the ethics of the people here.”

According to the ACCC action, Qantas “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct” by advertising tickets for more than 8,000 flights that it had already cancelled.

The ACCC alleged that for more than 8,000 flights scheduled to depart between May and July 2022, Qantas continued to sell tickets on its website after the cancellation of the flights – in some cases for up to 47 days.


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