Airline CEO under fire for pay bump, $2.1 million salary after flight cancellations left thousands of passengers stranded in Bali

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Airline CEO under fire for pay bump, $2.1 million salary after flight cancellations left thousands of passengers stranded in Bali
Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, speaks in front of the Qantas Boeing 747-400, registration VH-OEJ.David Gray/Getty Images
  • Qantas CEO Alan Joyce received a $287k pay raise over the past year, company documents show.
  • The CEO and other top execs were not awarded cash bonuses, bringing his base salary to $2.1 million.
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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce got a $287k raise over the past year, bringing his total pay package to slightly over $5.5 million despite infuriating summer travel, SEC documents filed Friday show.

The payout generated renewed pushback against the airline executive, whose $19 million mansion was pelted with eggs and toilet paper earlier this summer after the airline canceled one in 12 flights in June.

Four thousand passengers were left stranded in Bali during the first week of September by Jetstar, the airline's budget carrier, after a series of flight cancellations caused by issues with its Boeing 787 fleet. Some passengers were stuck without a return flight for nearly a week.

"It's shameless that while thousands of people are stranded in Bali and everywhere else, he gives himself a massive payday," Australian Labor Senator Tony Sheldon told local media outlets, calling Joyce's salary "offensive as all hell."

"Flights are still being canceled right around Australia. All the jobs lost, all the lives ruined, and this is what it's all been about, Joyce's pay packet," he added.

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Qantas did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment sent outside normal Australian operating hours. A spokesperson told The Guardian that Joyce's total pay package includes future share value estimates and is "not an accurate figure of what he got paid," noting that his salary is 77% below pre-pandemic levels.

Qantas also suspended its executive bonus scheme, which is scheduled to return next year with a "higher weighting" on customer-related goals, said Jacqueline Hey, the airline's remuneration committee chair.

Joyce's total pay is higher than last year's since he is being paid a full $2.1 million yearly salary after voluntarily receiving a reduced base pay "for a seven-month period straddling the last two financial years," Hey noted in the report.

The ACCC, Australia's consumer watchdog organization, is investigating a sea of customer complaints related to Qantas, The Guardian reported last week.

The entire aviation industry is struggling to handle record travel demand due to a combination of factors, namely understaffing, that may not be fully resolved until as late as 2024.

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