Safety - our first priority

Our commitment to a healthy, safe and secure environment for our people and customers.

Our approach

We’re always focused on creating a healthy, safe and secure workplace by preventing injuries, illness, accidents and incidents through effective safety management systems and risk controls, quality processes and a strong safety culture.

Each Qantas Group business operates integrated management systems that satisfy safety, health, security and environment legislative and regulatory requirements.

Our safety and security activities are supported by robust governance processes to ensure performance and risks are monitored. We encourage our people to report safety and security-related matters, even when they are closely involved and might feel vulnerable to criticism. This is supported by policies and procedures to ensure our people are treated fairly under what is known as ‘just culture’.

engineers working on aircraft

Operational safety

Aviation remains the safest form of travel. To maintain this, the entire industry needs to keep collaborating on safety issues of common interest.

Our operational safety performance continued to remain strong and the Group maintains a positive reporting culture. The Qantas Group continues to invest in our capability to deliver safe and efficient aircraft operations, and to share our learnings with other airlines. Some recent areas of improvement are:

  • Flight Data Analysis: Qantas has always been at the forefront of Flight Data Analysis and we continue to enhance how we capture and use Flight Data to ensure safe operations. Qantas has partnered with GE to develop tools for pilots which leverage flight data to improve the identification and management of potential risks and facilitate data sharing across the industry.
  • Collaboration: With multiple airlines making up the Qantas Group, it’s important that we learn from each other and work together to achieve Group goals. Steering Committees are established across key operational areas, including Flying Operations, Ground Operations and Airworthiness, to drive a program of strategic initiatives which identify and build on success stories in one business to drive improvement across the broader Qantas Group.
side view of aircraft

People safety

Manual Handling is one of the key drivers of work place injuries and we’re proud that in one of the most manual handling-reliant areas of our operation, Australian Airports, our FY19 performance for Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate and Lost Work Case Frequency Rate both improved compared to last year. Our Regional and Freight operations also performed favourably and Jetstar reduced its lost work cases compared with FY18. However, we acknowledge that continued focus and investment is required to deliver sustained improvement in people safety for the Qantas Group as a whole.

Our focus on preventing injuries related to body stress is ongoing. By offering our employees access to on-site physiotherapy services and body hardening training, we are minimising the impact of this type of injury. To address underlying risks, we continue to conduct ergonomic analysis of higher risks tasks to understand how risks can be reduced or even eliminated by changing the way we work.

Our Fitness for Work program is designed to help Qantas manage health-based risks in the operational environment. The program commences at recruitment, ensuring the hire of employees that present minimum medical risks and have optimal capacity to perform their roles. It also includes a collaborative process for managers to ensure favourable safety healthcare and return-to-work outcomes for existing employees with physical and/or mental health conditions.


engineers working on aircraft

Operational security

The aviation industry continues to face complex threats from individuals and organisations globally, with Australia remaining a potential target for extremist groups.

Qantas works closely with the Australian Government and overseas agencies, regulators, law enforcement and its global partners across the industry to proactively manage these threats. We are at the forefront of improving security outcomes for customers and employees by operating within a security framework that is proportionate, agile and responsive to changing risks across our network.

Qantas Group Security participates in several domestic and international committees to refine security measures, plan for and acquire enhanced security equipment and to determine world best practices in aviation security.

Together with our government and industry partners, some of the key security improvements in FY19 were:

  • Enhanced security measures for international cargo shipments in accordance with new Australian and US requirements. Group Security is also continuing to work with the Australian Government on enhancing security measures for domestic cargo.
  • Additional screening measures being implemented for those non passengers (employees and visitors) that require access to Australian airport Security Restricted Areas. These measures are in line with the overall uplift of security requirements being developed and implemented across Australia’s airports.
  • The Qantas Group is the largest issuer of Aviation Security Identification Cards in Australia, a responsibility that is taken very seriously. New Aviation Security Identification Cards with improved security features were introduced in early 2019. Additionally, to coincide with the new airport identification card, a new corporate identification card was introduced.
  • As in previous years, the Qantas Group has played a leading role in programs to build capacity in aviation security across the region, working in partnership with the Australian Government, we have assisted airport operators and national regulators in countries such as Thailand, Timor, Indonesia and the Philippines to enhance their aviation security capabilities in areas including passenger screening.
  • The Qantas Group continues to work with Australian Government to implement the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program, a voluntary program that gives traders and service providers trade facilitation benefits where they have demonstrated a secure and compliant supply chain. Key benefits of the program include improved speed to market, streamlined reporting, secure trade lanes, predictability of supply chain, reciprocal arrangements, reduced exposure to government cost recovery fees and the enhanced facilitation of legitimate trade.
Female Qantas link crew checking propeller

Data security and privacy

Like most industries, the aviation sector is dependent on data, systems and networks and we take our customer’s trust in the security of their personal data seriously. The Qantas Group is constantly improving its cyber capabilities as part of its overall data and privacy protection. Like many large organisations, we operate in an environment of ever-evolving cyber threats, where external attackers are always adopting more sophisticated techniques. Protection from these attacks — and the potential financial and public reputation implications associated with unauthorised access to the information we hold — is key.

We are working to constantly expand employee awareness of data security risks, including through ‘no notice’ simulations and structured training. The need for shared vigilance on cyber issues is supported by formal recognition of employees who help detect attempted cyber scams.

Risk assessments are conducted on relevant third party suppliers and we work with them to address any material risks identified. Read about our approach to risk management.

Across the Group, we are responsible for handling a substantial amount of personal information. We collect, share, use, store and process personal information in accordance with an ever changing and increasingly complex landscape of both international and domestic laws and regulations. We acknowledge our responsibility to protect and maintain the privacy rights of individuals and to maintain the security and the value of their personal information.

There has been increased investment in resources and technology that will support the Group to effectively address the volumes of personal information we manage and the intensifying local and global privacy regulatory requirements. A global Group Privacy Office has been established to assist us to better meet individuals expectations and ensure personal information is handled fairly, ethically and responsibly. The Group will also raise awareness of our privacy compliance obligations and manage our privacy risk by implementing a culture that considers ‘privacy by design’ as a default position when handling personal information. They will guide the global Privacy Program in the implementation of a coordinated enterprise-wide strategy and framework to achieve this cultural change.

Business resilience

In ever-increasing times of uncertainty, the resilience of an organisation plays a significant role in effectively meeting market demands and supporting the delivery of the Qantas Group strategy.

The resilience framework assists the Qantas Group in the preparation for, and recovery from, adverse incidents affecting the business and our interests. In FY19, the system was used to successfully identify and mitigate a number of potential operational and data risks generated by the sometimes complex environment in which the Group operates.

Due to the investments made in resilience, the capability continues to be strengthened through the successful integration of external stakeholders ensuring the Group continues to possess a sophisticated holistic response and recovery system.