Qantas investor’s grandson labels $1.2bn profit as ‘ironic’

Feb 27, 2024

THE grandson of one of Qantas’ early investors has labelled the airline’s $1.2bn underlying half-year profit as “ironic,” stating it was once acceptable for the carrier to report losses, so long it provided an essential service to regional Australians.

Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter, whose grandfather was that investor, said now the self-proclaimed “spirit of Australia” was anything but.

And while the national carrier may be flashing its cash, Mr Katter said its customer would much prefer the airline focus on its roots and serve regional Australians.

“My grandfather was one of the first couple of hundred investors in Qantas and the irony of this (profit report) is he lost a lot of money and he said ‘don’t worry about that, this is to create a service to the people of Australia, that don’t live in the capital cities’,” Mr Katter said.

“The charges now for people in regional areas – the people of Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, the people in Tamworth and the cities along the Murray – all these people are paying extraordinary prices. So it’s a milking machine, and it’s mailking cow is the people that live outside the capital cities.”

“At one stage the price to go from Brisbane to Qatar was the same as to go from Brisbane to Cairns.

“Because, there’s competition on the international market, there’s no competition in Australia.

“They’ve got the whole game to themselves. Even if you say there’s two – well a duopoly, even when I went to university – that’s real bad for the consumers.”

The North Queensland MP again slammed previous governments for privatising essential Australian assets, including Qantas and said now, the board needed to be held further to account.

“Disgraceful. But once again, who sold Qantas? What sort of country are we?

“We owned Qantas once, now foreigners own Qantas. So surprise, surprise, they’re screwing us.

“Allan Joyce was not the Spirit of Australia and everyone was jumping on him – but what about the board? I’ll be naming the board in parliament – they are the complete opposite of the Australian spirit.”