Air Transport World

Shifting financial winds could have blown Qantas off course.(Waypoints)(Qantas Airways Ltd.)(Aviation Partners Australia)

Last year, when Qantas top management and Aviation Partners Australia were trying to convince a skeptical shareholding public to support APA's A$11.1 billion ($10.5 billion) bid to buy the airline, management engaged an independent expert to review the proposal. The expert, Grant Samuel, reported that the carrier would require a "following wind" going forward were the takeover successful.

The incredible paradox is that heretofore Qantas successfully had flown through nothing but headwinds--in the form of wars, high fuel prices, terrorism, SARS and tsunamis--in large part owing to its strong balance sheet courtesy of tight fiscal management through the 1990s after its IPO in 1994. …

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