Australian flag carrier Qantas has brought in McKinsey, the significant global management consultancy firm. The management expert is the second such firm to be employed by the airline in the past five months, a sign of worry in the higher echelons of the Australian airline. 

McKinsey will focus on reliability, according to reports, as the airline slipped to just 70% on-time departures and even worse figures for on-time arrivals. 

The international firm has agreed to what it reported to be a 12-week contract with Qantas.  

New Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson had previously brought in experts from the Boston Consulting Group in September with the aim of improving customer services and how the airline was viewed by the Australian public. 

In the same month Hudson was forced to make a public apology acknowledging a “loss of trust” in the airline. 

Hudson said: “We understand we need to earn your trust back, not with what we say but what we do and how we behave. This is going to take time and I ask for your patience.”

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Among the airline’s recent issues, Qantas faced court action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for allegedly advertising tickets for thousands of flights that had already been cancelled in 2022, as well as taking too long to inform customers that their flights had been cancelled. 

The airline lost an appeal at the Australian High Court against a Federal Court ruling that found it had illegally sacked thousands of ground handling workers after outsourcing work in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, in violation of the country’s Fair Work Act. 

In a bid to gain popularity with the flying public, Qantas began a trial of “neighbour free” seating on international flights. 

The offer allows eligible customers to pay an extra fee to reserve a seat with nobody next to it on flights that have not been sold out 48 hours before departure. However, the neighbour free seat is not guaranteed and customers who see their extra seat sold to someone will receive a refund.