Qantas to focus on financials

Qantas will be focusing on its financial health and not entering into a price war with Virgin Blue, its chairperson Margaret Jackson has said. In the aftermath of the collapse of Ansett the public has been focusing on consumer issues, forgetting that a company has to provide a healthy return to shareholders. There's been too much focus on the benefits to the travelling public and staff, and people have forgotten who actually provides the capital, Ms Jackson said.

An airline has three elements: its capital investors, staff and the public. But unless the company gets a reasonable return on its capital others won't invest. Ms Jackson pointed out that the cheap tickets that were around earlier – such as $33 and $66 – meant that none of the airlines was getting a return. Impulse failed, Ansett failed, and neither Qantas nor Virgin Blue was making a profit.

Ms Jackson said that the domestic airline market has enough competitive protection for Virgin Blue and any tightening of regulations “would not be healthy”.