Leading Australia flagship airlines sounds like a daunting job, but Qantas Airways CEO and Managing Director Alan Joyce has always been up for the task. And when the bumpiest times came, he made sure the organisation stayed soaring in the air.
Joyce started his career as Revenue Management and Fleet Planning officer for Aer Lingus for 8 years, before becoming Head of Network Planning for Ansett Australia for 4 years. He then transferred to Jetstar Airways to serve as its CEO for 5 years.
He assumed a leadership position in Qantas Airways in 2008. Some 12 years later, he needed to pilot the company through turbulent situations when the COVID-19 pandemic came and forced countries to close borders, limiting the air travels.
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In leading the company through tough times, Joyce took inspiration from the long history of Qantas, where the organisation had to face major challenges, like wars and rapid technological changes, since it was founded a hundred years ago.
“As Australia opens up, we’re ready to fly again. And when people see the familiar kangaroo on the tail, it has another bit of history behind it,” said Joyce in an article he wrote in November 2020 to commemorate the company’s centennial year.
Today, Joyce and the leadership board is steering Qantas through important directions to ensure its place in the future. One of these is its climate change action plan which will get them to their target zero carbon emissions by 2050.
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The steps they planned included reducing emissions by 25 percent in 2030, achieving the sustainable aviation fuel target of 10 percent by 2030, removing single use plastics by 2027, and hitting net zero general waste to landfill by 2030.
Qantas has also set the plan for paving the way in creating the organisation a leader in gender equality. According to Joyce, they have set targets for increasing the number of female pilots to at least 40 percent in 2028.