Future directions for global aviation

05 May 2017

Gareth Evans

Qantas International CEO, Gareth Evans

Moving economic centres, emerging alliances, and rapidly evolving technology are among the critical forces re-shaping the global aviation industry, according to Qantas International CEO, Gareth Evans.

Speaking at an Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) Leadership and Policy Seminar, Gareth spoke of the volatility of the industry and Qantas’ focus on building a strong, sustainable future.

 “The industry will continue to grow through significant change,” said Gareth. “We are focused on building a strong, resilient and sustainable business for the future that can adopt and respond to changes in the business, industry and technology through what will inevitably be a roller coaster ride.”

In 2016, Qantas achieved its highest profits in its 96 year history, despite increasingly unstable market conditions and a toughening of competition. This success, said Gareth, is evidence of the company’s continuous commitment to transformation and transition.

“We are taking the necessary steps to achieve change in the context of three key drivers,” said Gareth, “including the rise of new centres of demand, the evolution of strategic alliances and emerging technologies.”

Gareth went on to discuss in detail the re-balancing of demand on a global scale and the rise of the Asian market.

“As the centre of power shifts and demand moves, it’s going to have a huge bearing on our future,” said Gareth. “We have to make sure we put the capacity into the right markets and align with the right partners to get access beyond the gateways, as well focus on the customers we are seeking to attract with customisation of the products we are offering.”

Gareth also spoke of emerging technologies, with special attention to the Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner, set to take off in October this year and capable of flying direct from Perth to London.

“This is going to be hugely disruptive technology for us, where we can carve a sustainable, competitive advantage,” he said.

“We are now looking at aircraft that will be able to fly from Sydney to London, direct from 2022/2023.”

“Indeed, these factors all contribute to a time of massive change for the global industry, bringing plenty of challenges, but also plenty of opportunities,” concluded Gareth. “We have worked very hard to transform our business to put us in a great position to shape our future and also lead the industry as a whole.”

Professor Rico Merkert, Chair in Transport and Supply Chain Management at ITLS and one of the seminar convenors praised the event, saying “It was an invaluable opportunity to hear from Gareth, and draw on insights, backed by his extensive experience in the sector. At ITLS, we are committed to engaged researched, and working collaboratively with industry to understand and respond to some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Established in 2003, the ITLS Leadership and Policy Seminar Series bring together leading national and international experts to discuss transport and logistics issues relevant to business and academia. The seminar series attracts a broad audience from industry, government and academia. Find out more.