Qantas - 10 Years Since Privatisation

Sydney, 30 July 2005

Qantas will celebrate an important milestone in its history this weekend, with 31 July the 10th anniversary of its listing as a public company.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said that in a constantly evolving and highly competitive environment, the Qantas Group had achieved a great deal since 1995.

"As well as dealing with the huge cultural, financial and operational change associated with the transition from a Government-owned company to a fully privatised business, Qantas has weathered one of the most turbulent periods in aviation in the years since privatisation - particularly the last five years," Mr Dixon said.

"With the support of its staff, Qantas has managed the challenges better than most to ensure that the company is currently in a reasonably strong position.

"Over the past 10 years, we have delivered good returns to our shareholders, employed large numbers of Australians and provided domestic and international aviation services that are generally regarded as being among the world's best."

Mr Dixon said that since privatisation in 1995, Qantas had:

* grown staff numbers by almost 30 per cent - from 30,000 in 1995 to more than 38,400 staff today - the vast majority of them in Australia;
* more than doubled the number of passengers carried each year, from 16 million in 1995 to more than 32 million in 2005;
* increased the number of flights it operates from 1,900 flights a week (including 250 international services) to more than 5,000 a week (including 600 international services);
* expanded its network significantly, from 86 destinations in 26 countries, including 48 in Australia, in 1995 to 145 destinations in 40 countries, including 62 in Australia operated by four Qantas Group airlines today; and
* grown its fleet by 47 per cent, from 136 aircraft in 1995 to 200 in 2005.

Key financial statistics for the 10 years include:

* total shareholder return since the float (including dividend reinvestment) of more than 340 per cent (based on an issue price at float of $1.90);
* total dividends paid to shareholders to date of $2.15 per share (prior to final dividend payment for the current year); and
* projected revenue growth of 77 per cent from $7.2 billion in 1995 to over $12.5 billion in 2005.

He said other highlights for the Group over the 10 years included:

* Qantas' role as a founding member of oneworld™ in 1998;
* the announcement of the airline's 10-year, multi-billion dollar fleet plan in 2000, which included the purchase of new aircraft types such as the revolutionary Airbus A380;
* the launch of the QantasLink brand in 2001, followed by the purchase of Impulse;
* the launch of Australian Airlines in 2002;
* the introduction of the airline's new International Business Class, including the award-winning sleeper seat Skybed, in 2003; and
* the launch of the Group's very successful low cost domestic carrier Jetstar, which commenced operations in 2004.

"All Qantas' achievements will ultimately mean little if the Group does not continue to address a wide range of challenges," Mr Dixon said.

"Chief among these is the continuing escalation in oil prices that show no sign of falling to sustainable levels," Mr Dixon said.

"This has the real potential to cancel out the cost savings we have achieved across the business through our Sustainable Future program.

"Our aim is to find and deliver further cost and efficiency benefits to ensure we are able to generate strong profits, continue to provide adequate returns for our investors, invest further in aircraft and product and continue to employ Australians."

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3303)