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. Throughout the year the Group continued to invest in its 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 continued it s partnership 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, cabin 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

The Qantas Group’s FY20 performance for Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate and Lost Work Case Frequency Rate both improved compared to last year.  The Group also saw positive improvement within its operational flight data rates with the strongest result in the last four years.  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.

The Group has a structured mental health and wellbeing [program focused on reducing the stigma and raising awareness of mental health, providing education and tools to better understand and support those with mental health challenges and provide dedicated mental health assistance programs and services for those with concerns.  The Group continues to invest in this important area of health particularly in light of the broader social and economic challenges caused by COVID-19.


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 monitor and manage threats and risks. 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 threats and 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 establish world best practices in aviation security.

Together with our government and industry partners, some of the key security improvements in FY20 were:

  • Enhanced security measures for domestic cargo shipments in accordance with new Australian requirements.
  • Continued collaboration with Government and Airport operators on security enhancement initiatives at Australian Airports including plans to upgrade security technology.
  • The Qantas Group is the largest issuer of Aviation Security Identification Cards in Australia, a responsibility that is taken very seriously. As reported last year, new Aviation Security Identification Cards with improved security features were introduced and this year we’ve focused on enhancing access controls with further improvements planned over the next 12 months.  . 
  • As in previous years, the Qantas Group has played a leading role in programs to build capacity in aviation security across the Asia-Pacific region, working in partnership with the Australian Government and the local Airport Operator and Offshore Regulator. 
  • Completion of 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 customers 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 ongoing investment to improve in the resources, processes and technology that enable will support the Group to effectively address the volumes of personal information we manage, and to meet both intensifying regulatory requirements and individuals’ rising expectations regarding fair, ethical and responsible data use. and the intensifying local and global privacy regulatory requirements. A global Group Privacy Office has been established to assist us to better meet individual's expectations and ensure personal information is handled fairly, ethically and responsibly. The Group is committed to continuing to 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 FY20, the system was used to successfully identify and mitigate a number of potential operational and data risks including Covid-19.

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.