Qantas CEO Alan Joyce looking at $24million pay day despite Covid, worker issues

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is on track to pocket a $24 million farewell to the airline as he prepares to part ways with the flag carrier sometime this year.

Mr Joyce, who announced that his 15-year stint at the head of the flag carrier will end at the end of 2023, will earn the extraordinary amount mainly through his huge share deposits and deferred bonuses.

The huge windfall is unlikely to impress critics of Mr Joyce’s tenure and Qantas, which has seen controversial outsourcing of baggage handling and maintenance among other cost-cutting measures, with the airline widely bagged for its declining standards .

The Covid pandemic also saw the airline receive about $2.35 billion in aid from the former Morrison administration, including $860 million in JobKeeper payments, despite laying off about 6,000 people during that period.

Despite all that, Mr Joyce is well on his way to acquiring another two million Qantas shares if he can get the airline to meet certain targets Australian financial statement reported.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce leaves the airline at the end of the year with a massive $24 million payday

Mr Joyce is on track to receive 698,000 Qantas shares in June under a Covid recovery plan that will be worth $4.5 million at the current trading price of the Australian stock exchange.

In addition, Mr. Joyce’s contract includes a long-term incentive program that promises him up to 1,349,000 Qantas shares if the airline scores high relative to equity investor returns by the end of June.

With three months to go, it looks like Mr. Joyce will earn $8.8 million from this, which is close to the maximum total.

In August, Mr. Joyce will also receive deferred bonuses from the three years in which the airline was hit by the Covid closures and posted a $7 billion statutory loss.

Added to his share gains, based on the current sale price, the amount he walks away from his plumb line is between $22.3 million and $24.4 million.

Qantas posted a $7 billion loss during the Covid period, but bounced back to profit this year

Qantas posted a $7 billion loss during the Covid period, but bounced back to profit this year

The extravagant broadcast will end a tumultuous time for Qantas under Mr Joyce, with the airline tagged with a ‘Shonky’ award from consumer watchdog Choice in November.

The Shonky Awards name and shame big brands for poor service or substandard products, with Choice branding the airline the “Spirit of Disappointment.”

Choice said the award of a Shonky to Qantas this year came after multiple complaints about the airline were sent to the consumer group.

“If there ever seems to be a company that is deliberately going out of its way to win a Shonky Award, it’s Qantas,” said travel expert Jodi Bird.

“People are still paying high prices to fly Qantas, but it’s clear from the complaints we’ve heard that they’re not getting premium service.

Qantas has made it difficult and confusing for their customers to use flight credits for canceled trips.

“This includes forcing many people to spend extra money, putting limits on available flights, not being able to book with online credits — the list goes on.”

Under Mr Joyce's leadership, Qantas has controversially outsourced its baggage handling

Under Mr Joyce’s leadership, Qantas has controversially outsourced its baggage handling

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has investigated how Qantas has handled travel credits.

Last year, ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said Qantas “didn’t make a realistic assessment of the number of flights they could serve,” as air traffic surged after the pandemic “leaving many unable to use their expiring credits.”

On March 8, aircraft tankers in Melbourne staged a 24-hour strike for better wages and working conditions for Rivet Group workers.

The Transport Workers’ Union said workers had been trying for a year to get better working conditions, while they were understaffed in the current circumstances.

“These are workers in one of the most dangerous jobs at the airport, but they are being pushed to their limits, while wages and conditions are failing to attract more workers to share the burden,” said TWU official Mem Suleyman.

The union is in a protracted legal battle with Qantas over the outsourcing of more than 1,600 baggage handlers during the Covid period, which it said was ‘illegal’.