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The appalling treatment of Australia: high airfares, Qantas’ anti-competitive behaviour, and nepotism

The appalling treatment of Australia: high airfares, Qantas’ anti-competitive behaviour, and nepotism

The skies above Australia have long symbolised freedom, exploration, and connection. Yet, in recent years, these skies have become shrouded in clouds of anti-competitive behaviour, sky-high airfares, and nepotism, threatening the very essence of Australia’s aviation industry.

Once a source of national pride, Qantas, the national carrier, has evolved into an emblem of profit-driven opportunism, leaving millions of Australians to bear the brunt of exorbitant fares and diminished customer service.


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Roger Montgomery is the Founder and Chairman of Montgomery Investment Management. Roger has over three decades of experience in funds management and related activities, including equities analysis, equity and derivatives strategy, trading and stockbroking. Prior to establishing Montgomery, Roger held positions at Ord Minnett Jardine Fleming, BT (Australia) Limited and Merrill Lynch.

This post was contributed by a representative of Montgomery Investment Management Pty Limited (AFSL No. 354564). The principal purpose of this post is to provide factual information and not provide financial product advice. Additionally, the information provided is not intended to provide any recommendation or opinion about any financial product. Any commentary and statements of opinion however may contain general advice only that is prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Because of this, before acting on any of the information provided, you should always consider its appropriateness in light of your personal objectives, financial circumstances and needs and should consider seeking independent advice from a financial advisor if necessary before making any decisions. This post specifically excludes personal advice.

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  1. Qantas continues to maintain its monopoly on the Sydney to Canberra route. Regional Express were forced to withdraw from the route after one year, even though they were offering $99 fares. Why would politicians care about the ticket price? They’re happy to fly the 300km route for $400 or $500. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  2. The Australian Government should’ve taken a $1B equity stake in Qantas. Similar to Air New Zealand – the NZ Government took majority ownership in 2001 to save the airline from bankruptcy.

  3. I am always surprised to read these articles, as if it is all something new.
    When I started to fly on regular basis in the early 00’s, I vowed to never use Qantas after experiencing their aeroplanes, on-time performance (or lack of) and service, and nothing had changed in the past 25 years.
    Strange enough, even flying Business at hefty prices, does not make it any better.
    Qantas remains an arrogant company taking its customers for grated.

  4. “Australian Government’s actions have perplexingly favoured Qantas’ interests”. Maybe not so if you look at who is on the Chairman’s Lounge membership list under the Parliamentary registers of pecuniary interests, both State and Federal; and then consider the amount of money that the public sector spends on travel with Qantas.

    Ansett went bust in 2001 and apart from help for the workers, there was no bailout (and the same would happen to Virgin). During COVID, the Federal Government had a request from Virgin for a $1.4 billion bailout but this request was rejected.

    If QF went under tomorrow, you can GUARANTEE there would be all sorts of financial help.

  5. Thank you Roger . I have very similar concerns to you. For completeness, I have little sympathy for Qatar Airlines because my wife and I were supposed to be on the Sydney-bound flight in October 2020 that was delayed at Doha Airport while women of child-bearing age were taken from the aircraft. Thank goodness for COVID. At least our refund arrived within 3 months.

    Nevertheless, it is extra-ordinary in the current circumstances that they aren’t allowed to increase their flights . As far as the current Qantas CEO goes, his tenure will be viewed with much less kindness in the fullness of history. As he has sold 20 million dollars of his shares to fund property, I’d also suggest shareholders cash their profits in too.

    • I suspect Qatar Airways was not in a position to defy police orders. If police boarded a Qantas flight here in Sydney to remove passengers, the cabin crew would not be able to do a great deal about it either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the legacy left by Qantas management.


    It is sad and improper behaviour of our elected polititians. Their actions should be to work for the betterment of all Australians and not favour those corporates that benefits them personally one way or the other.
    Qantas should not monotise the skies. It is unfair

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