Qantas dominated the aviation news in Australia this week as a so called “rebel group” of investors headed by former CEO Geoff Dixon and advertising guru John Singleton were said to be plotting to make a takeover bid for the board, removing Alan Joyce. They are apparently uphappy with the current direction of the board, particularly with regard to the recent tie up with Emirates. Dixon currently works on the board of Tourism Australia, and Singleton’s company has advertising contracts with both organisations.
As a result of these rumour/moves, Joyce has pulled out of the Tourism Australia deal that Qantas has held for decades, taking $A40 million in funding with him. Not long after that, Virgin Australia’s chief John Borghetti was said to have been in talks with Dixon – the man he would have replaced at Qantas had Joyce not been given the job – about Virgin filling the gap left by Qantas at Tourism Australia.
It’s a big and very complex story that will no doubt fester along for months to come.
In other news, the final RAAF AP-3C Orion has returned home from operations in the Middle East, bringing to an end a decade of service in that region. Also, November 30th saw the final day of C-130H operations with at least one airframe rumoured to be housed at the Air Force Museum in Melbourne.