Quantas, the Australian airline has returned to the skies after it grounded its planes this weekend due to strike action by its employees.
Quantas are in the process of rejigging their operations in Australia. It has unveiled plans to launch two brand new airlines in Asia and is also looking at purchasing new planes.
Their plans are to launch a new premium, Asia-wide service whilst setting up a budget carrier focusing on the profitable Japanese market.
They reported that 1000 jobs would be effected by the changes.
How has the grounding of their planes effected their brand?
Industrial action isn’t pretty at the best of times and this is one that started to build momentum after the announcement of the company’s plans in August 2011.
I understand that their national market in Australia isn’t profitable and that they need to make structural changes, but surely they should have notified the unions and worked out a settlement instead of announcing the roll-out to the media and the world.
Having bad relations with staff serving your clients is a bad idea and I can only see this getting worse unless the dispute gets put to bed quickly.
Existing Clientele Relations Damaged
It’s my understanding that clients were lft stranded in over 22 different countries while Quantas grounded 447 flights. Their brand equity with these customers has been damaged and the bad press will hurt them for years to come. All of this is due to a communication break-down.
Get Clients Back On Side
Since they got their planes back in the air, there’s been no official announcement to reimburse those that were left stranded by Quantas. They didn’t come out and offer discounted flights to for new clients to drive sales during the period and going forward. I predict they will lose a lot of sales due to this bad PR management and the competition such as Virgin Australia will benefit.