Qantas merges business units as International CEO steps down

Qantas International’s CEO, Tino La Spina, will relieve his post effective 1 September, as the Australian group consolidates in view of Covid-19.

Qantas Freight Qantas Group Qantas International Tino La Spina

Courtesy of Qantas

Sydney-based Qantas Group has made a cut to its Group Management Committee in view of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, with Qantas International’s CEO, Tino La Spina, relieving his post effective 1 September, a press release confirmed. The Group expects its international flights to remain grounded until at least mid-2021. 

La Spina’s responsibilities will be transferred to Andrew David, CEO of Qantas Domestic, adding to his existing duties for Qantas Domestic and Qantas Freight. Meanwhile, John Gissing, group executive of associated airlines and services, will continue to lead regional carrier, QantasLink. 

“The COVID crisis is forcing us to rethink our business at every level. It’s increasingly clear that our international flights will be grounded until at least mid-2021 and it will take years for activity to return to what it was before. Under those circumstances, we’ve made the decision to consolidate the domestic and international business units under a single divisional CEO,” Alan Joyce, Group CEO, expressed in a statement. 

The Qantas Group Management Committee took three months of zero pay in the last quarter of FY20 and is on reduced pay (65 percent for the CEO and 85 percent for other executives) until November 2020. 

Last week, Qantas Group announced the financial results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2020, posting A$124 million in underlying profits before tax. Despite being down 91 percent from last year, the airline posted a strong first half (A$771 million underlying profit before tax) only to be dragged by a near total collapse in travel demand and a A$4 billion revenue drop in what it calls the most challenging period in its long history. 

From April to end of June, Group revenue fell 82 percent whilst cash costs were reduced by 75 percent year-on-year to limit the drop in underlying profit before tax in 2H20 to A$1.2 billion. 

Despite significant uncertainty across most markets, the Group is confident Qantas Freight and Qantas Loyalty will generate significant cashflow from charter operations as it awaits the eventual return of domestic and, ultimately, international travel demand.

La Spina, who spent time as deputy CFO and CFO during his tenure, will leave Qantas International with A$56 million in profit for FY20, driven largely by a record performance from Qantas Freight and a booming e-commerce market.

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