- Be Fire Ready for summer
- Voting online would be 'catastrophic'
- No need to discuss sexual orientation
- Clive Palmer's not doing it right: Hanson
- Netflix coming to Australia
- Dancing cops do The Nutbush
- East West Link 'must' go ahead
- Footage of motorcyclist acting a fool
- RSS Syndicate this blog (XML)
What we're talking about
- Steve Huppert on 'Why is recycling so complicated?' The label on the lid of the recycle bin is clear. Most people should know what they can and can't recycle. more
- Jarrod on Nova Peris: 'Emails don't reflect my ... No one cares about her life or her 'private life' our life is never private these days more
- Marion Barnes on Penhalluriack's set to close its doors Bureaucracy 1 Small business owner 0We should be offering more support to small businesses. more
- Cassie on Tom Elliott: 'I'm an atheist but I ... Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christians. You cannot call it a Christian denomination, like a Baptist, Anglican etc., it's as ... more
- stuckinthecult on Tom Elliott: 'I'm an atheist but I ... I was born into this cult, baptised as a child.I now can not leave this religion without loosing my entire family.I have not ... more
- Liz on Tom Elliott: 'I'm an atheist but I ... Any family that shuns one of its own simply because they believe something different are themselves morally lacking. more
- Mark on Graphic ad targets spring racegoers So, let me get this right.... it's OK to kill a cow for your BBQ feast... but not a horse for another form of entertainment, ... more
- knackers on Graphic ad targets spring racegoers Why don't they get a job the smelly unwashed grubs more
- Christine on 'We're creating a Muslim apartheid' Senator, may I remind you this is Australia. People who choose to make Australia their new home, should observe our culture ... more
- PJ on 'We're creating a Muslim apartheid' Young Muslim women have more exciting lives than hanging out in the public galleries of Australia's Parliaments. The ... more
- sallyG on PM: 'I wish the burqa wasn't worn' Long live Tony Abbott for telling it as we all see it. That's us Australians and we are not afraid to say it unless the ... more
- Peggy on PM: 'I wish the burqa wasn't worn' C'mon Tom, how many people do you see walking down the street wearing a balaclava or have their helmet on?How many people do ... more
- Jane on PM: 'I wish the burqa wasn't worn' Sorry but I do find the burqa offensive. It is offensive to the women who wear it and have to hide their beautiful faces ... more
- poppitt on PM: 'I wish the burqa wasn't worn' Any face covering when entering parliament, banks, fuel stations, should be banned. You can not wear a motor bike helmet ... more
- Aria Judilla on PM: 'I wish the burqa wasn't worn' I personally find ALL religious symbols "fairly confronting" but I bet Abbott won't be banning the crucifix. more
- JK of Clayton on PM: 'I wish the burqa wasn't worn' I couldn't agree more - the Burqa needs to be banned in public as should anything completely covering a person's face. more
- Peggy on Neil Mitchell: 'This should be an ... If this plate was out there months ago how come the police haven't been able to cathc this fool?There is a number of charges ... more
- Chris on Neil Mitchell: 'This should be an ... I bet if I wrote something bad about muslims id be labeled racist more
- Michelle on Neil Mitchell: 'This should be an ... Well that is simply disgraceful. more
- Mark on Government raises terrorism threat ... Hmmmm, I think someone somewhere is crying wolf. Just been through this 'increased threat' level too many times. Yawn. more
'Qantas is in severe financial difficulty'
Tom Elliott has been sent a leaked document that appears to show the perilous state of Qantas' financial affairs.
The "damaging" internal memo, titled "Liquidity Challenge", details how the airline might be forced to sell its frequent flyer program to pay for a black hole in its budget.
The document, dated Wednesday May 7, also discusses funding being rationed to the airline and suggests that its burden of debt is too great. It also reveals the company is "concerned" its credit rating will be downgraded further.
Fairfax business columnist Liz Knight said she too believed the document was genuine and added Qantas has plans to sack pilots.
“It’s clearly a document written with minutes of a meeting with very senior Qantas executives, clearly, I would say, from someone who is advising them,” she said.
"I've learnt that by the end of the week, they will have offered the pilots a redundancy package ... they will be looking to get rid of ... up to several hundred pilots.
"There certainly are an excessive number of pilots on their books at the moment.
"Some of them have been on leave without pay because they just don't have the work to give them, others have been running down their long-service entitlements."
The Australian and International Pilots Association said it was aware of the process for voluntary redundancies which will be completed by the end of the week.
LISTEN IN FULL: Liz Knight speaks with Tom Elliott
Knight added it also appeared Qantas's frequent flyer program would be sold.
"It looks to me from this document like that's a little bit more, not so much of an 'if' as a 'when'," she said.
"And they talk about timing in this document - 'when will we do it?' and 'how long can we defer it?'.
"What you tend to do when you're a company in trouble and you're selling assets to get some money, you start to sell some of the easier stuff first and you put off, to the extent that you can, selling the jewels in the crown.
"And as we know, the frequent flyer program is enormously profitable, and one that they have said in the past they would prefer not to sell, but it looks like at this point, that is being actively considered rather than being put on the backburner."
Meanwhile, former Qantas chief economist Tony Webber said senior managers at the airline will be forced to resign after the full year financial results are released.
He said the loss was likely to rise to $500 million for the full financial year.
"If the results are as horrific as expected, there's just no possible way that the senior management and the board can hold their positions," he said.
The leaked memo questions whether Qantas management is at a "tipping point" and also appears to table the sale of its loyalty program.
"If this document is true - and I believe it to be true, it's only a few days old - Qantas is in severe financial difficulty," Tom Elliott said.
"The frequent flyer program is probably the one thing it has that is really worth a lot of money, that you could sell to someone else.
"I think there is a very strong likelihood that Qantas will sell its frequent flyer program.
"This document also talks about things like 'further credit downgrades'.
"And here's a really ominous sentence: the document talks about 'a jigsaw puzzle of issues' and then says 'when will management reach a tipping point?'
Speaking on 3AW Drive yesterday, Tom said his program has contacted Qantas to establish the veracity of the document.
In February, Qantas announced a six-month loss of $250 million and plans to shed 5000 jobs.
Qantas sent the following statement to 3AW Drive: "Qantas has been very upfront with the market and the community about the challenges it is facing.
"The suggestion that, effectively, 'It’s much worse than you think' is misleading and wrong.
"The concept of a 'liquidity challenge' seems to ignore the $2.4 billion Qantas has in the bank, not to mention a large number of unencumbered assets (ranging from airport terminals to aircraft). This has been noted by a number of analysts since February.
"We have an obligation to keep the market up to date with our position, and we did that as recently as last Thursday. This was widely reported.
"No decision has been made on Frequent Flyer, so any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong."
LISTEN IN FULL: Liz Knight speaks with Tom Elliott