Learn more about our commitment to the communities we serve.
Since Qantas was founded in the Queensland outback in 1920, our iconic Australian airline has helped the communities in which we operate. From assisting Australians in times of natural disaster to providing an international platform to showcase the best our country has to offer, the Qantas Group continues to make a significant social and economic contribution.
This tradition continued as Australia dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. Qantas operated over 100 international repatriation flights on behalf of the Federal Government to bring Australians home from various hotspots, including Wuhan. These flights were flown by crew who volunteered for these missions.
With COVID-related border closures rendering most flights commercially unviable, Qantas and Jetstar also operated domestic flights on behalf of the government. These maintained critical transport links for people and for goods – including essential medical supplies.
While the COVID crisis is compelling the Qantas Group to restructure much of its business, one thing that won’t change is our commitment to the community. We will be smaller for a period of time, but we’ll continue to serve regional communities and support tourism; to champion diversity and reconciliation; to promote the best of Australia to the world.
Helping power the Australian economy
Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, the Qantas Group continues to have an integral role in the Australian economy. We remain a major employer and the biggest private promoter of local tourism.
Qantas operated additional freight flights through the COVID-19 pandemic, helping Australian producers get fresh produce into Asia. Continued charter flying in Western Australia especially enabled the resources sector to keep operating.
In its most recent report, Deloitte Access Economics found that (pre-COVID) the Qantas Group had a $25.9 billion impact on the Australian economy. This included indirect economic impact adding up to $12.8 billion, or 0.7 per cent of Australian GDP, as well as $13.1 billion of tourism spending throughout the country.
The same report found that in FY18 we directly and indirectly support more than 55,000 jobs and contributed around $5 billion to the economy in regional Australia, with close to $800 million in direct contributions.
Supporting Australian Businesses
- As the national carrier, we are proud to support Australian businesses by showcasing their products across the country and around the world. We spent over $5.8 billion with Australian based suppliers in FY20, representing 60 per cent of total procurement expenditure. We recognise the importance of supporting regional communities and do business with more than 1,100 suppliers in regional areas.
- The Qantas Group has Australia’s largest regional footprint by network, fleet and capacity connecting local communities and economies.
- We’re proud to count many Australian small businesses among our suppliers. We recognise that prompt, reliable payments can help small suppliers remain viable and even expand and create jobs, so we’ve signed up to the Business Council of Australia (BCA) Australian Supplier Payment Code. We have implemented the new Qantas small business payment terms and rolled it out to over 2,000 suppliers.
Support for tourism
Helping the tourism sector is crucial to the recovery of the broader Australian economy. We’re supporting this through marketing partnerships with federal, state and territory governments both internationally and domestically, and our own extensive marketing and media strategy.
We know there is significant pent up demand for travel and we’re ready to help regions that rely so heavily on tourism by encouraging people to visit when the time is right.
Qantas is dedicated to creating work and training opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, incorporating Indigenous businesses into our supply chain, and telling the stories of the First Australians. We’re proud to be a member of the Elevate RAP community.
As a founding member of Supply Nation — which connects Australian companies and government with Indigenous businesses — we continued to support Indigenous suppliers with a total FY20 spend of $3 million. We participated in the Supply Nation and Business Council of Australia initiative 'Raising the Bar' and announced our commitment to procure three percent of our annual contestable spend from Indigenous suppliers by the end of FY24.
Working with communities
The Qantas Group has long-standing partnerships with organisations that have a positive impact on the community.
While most of our direct support and assistance has been suspended as we recover from the COVID crisis, we continue to have a close relationship with many of our long-term partners, across sports, arts, environment, and community.
For almost 30 years, Qantas Airlines customers have raised money for UNICEF through the Change for Good initiative. In 2019 we reached the milestone of $36 million raised.
Many Qantas Airlines employees have traditionally volunteered for worthy causes and donate to charity through the Qantas Workplace Giving program, which we administer in partnership with Good2Give.
Jetstar raises millions of dollars through its community initiatives, StarKids. Since the launch of StarKids, we’ve helped change the lives of more than 1.2 million people around the world, including many of the countries that we operate in. Through the efforts and contributions made by our team members and customers, our donation tally continues to grow, with $11 million raised so far.
A fair go
Qantas, alongside many other Australian companies, engages on a number of social issues from gender diversity and LGBTI inclusion to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation. Our identity is the Spirit of Australia, and one of the most fundamental values in this country is the notion of a ‘fair go’, which is why we speak up on important social issues. In 2019, we were proud to join with 13 other Elevate RAP organisations to share our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its proposed reforms of voice, treaty and truth.
The Qantas Group contributes more than $5 billion to the economy in regional Australia each year and supports more than 40,000 jobs.
Drought and bushfire devastated many regional communities during FY20, prompting the Group to develop several specific initiatives to help:
- Delivered more than $3 million of support during early 2020 in the wake of the tragic Black Summer bushfire season. Made up of a $1 million cash donation to the Red Cross, $1 million raised in donations from our customers, and the remainder in in-kind support, moving firefighters and equipment around the country.
- Introduced The Qantas Regional Grants program. Twenty grants were distributed across the country to a number of local community initiatives and larger charitable organisations. The program plans to offer a total of $5 million in grants over five years to Australian-based not-for-profit community groups, individuals, charities, projects and organisations that are seeking funding to provide a direct service or benefit to regional Australia.
In August 2019, Qantas announced a $10 million investment to further reduce fares for residents of 16 regional cities through its discounted fares program. This is on top of existing discounts and is aimed at making last-minute travel more affordable in towns that are particularly remote or have a high concentration of resources industry traffic.
In January 2020, the Qantas Group Pilot Academy was officially opened in Toowoomba, Queensland. With the capacity to train up to 250 pilots a year, it is part of a long term strategy to ensure a pipeline of talent for aviation in the region.