Qantas appoints new Jetstar boss

Qantas has picked its chief customer officer,Stephanie Tully,to replace Gareth Evans as chief executive of its budget arm,Jetstar.

Tully,who will take the helm in November,joined the group in 2004 and has been a group chief customer officer at Qantas since 2019. She began her aviation career at Ansett in 1997,where she worked in roles across commercial,marketing and customer experience divisions before joining Qantas in 2004.

Stephanie Tully will take the helm of Qantas’s budget airline carrier Jetstar by the end of this year.

Stephanie Tully will take the helm of Qantas’s budget airline carrier Jetstar by the end of this year.Rhett Wyman

Markus Svensson will be promoted to the chief customer officer role and join the group executive committee reporting to Qantas group executive Alan Joyce. Svensson was the executive manager of network,revenue management and alliances and oversaw the group’s commercial strategy for the carrier’s international and domestic divisions. Before joining the airline in 2011,Svensson held senior roles at Bain and Co and telecommunications across Australia,Sweden and South Korea.

Evans,who was considered to be Joyce’s most obvious successor as the group’s chief executive,announced his resignation in June after 23 years with the company.

The exit of Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans has made succession planning at parent airline Qantas more complicated.

The exit of Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans has made succession planning at parent airline Qantas more complicated.Michael Quelch

His resignation was announced months after the company hinted Joyce would remain at the helm for the foreseeable future.

“Gareth has been a superb member of the Qantas Group executive team for many years. We’re pleased to have his knowledge and experience in the months ahead to help with this transition and key projects in our recovery,” Joyce said in a statement released to the ASX.

Joyce has led Qantas for the past 14 years and is one of the longest-serving chief executives of an Australian listed company. He has come under fire recently after aspate of customer service issues caused by record demand and insufficient capacity across the aviation sector.

The image issues at the carrier were amplified by a period of flight delays,mass cancellations,an increase in mishandled baggage and a 2020 decision to outsource 1700 ground handling positions,a decision found to have breached the Fair Work Act. The carrier is appealing the verdict in the High Court.

Jetstar has also had issues with its service delivery. The budget carrier was slammed at the start of this monthafter a string of engineering issues knocked half of its long-haul fleet out of action, disrupting the plans of thousands of travellers.

Qantas was ranked the world’s fifth-best airline and the region’s top carrier at the annual Skytrax awards in London over the weekend,indicating the airline’s reputation remains intact globally. The Skytrax ratings are informed by more than 13 million customer surveys taken between September 2011 to August 2022.

The carrier moved up to fifth place this year,up from eighth in 2021.

According to Qantas’ internal data,the number of flight cancellations has dropped to 2 per cent for the beginning of this month,below pre-COVID-19 levels. Mishandled bags are now at six per 1000 customers overall,down from nine last month when the company was forced to increase connection times to 90 minutes in an effort to reduce the number of lost bags.

For the remainder of September,Qantas is targeting a mishandled baggage rate of four per 1000 customers and for 75 per cent of flights to leave and arrive on time.

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Amelia McGuire is the aviation and tourism reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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