- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
- Year Founded:
- Alan Joyce
When Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans announced his resignation in June, it was always likely the role would be filled from within the Qantas Group. Yesterday the airline group announced Stephanie Tully, who has been with Qantas since 2004, as the new CEO of Jetstar.
It’s a well-worn path to Jetstar CEO
Newly appointed Jetstar CEO Stephanie Tully has held a wide cross-section of management roles in her 18 years with the Qantas Group. Photo: Qantas
Over the last 20 years or so, Qantas has developed its senior management team so that major transitions happen seamlessly. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce joined the airline in 2000, first working in network planning and strategy before taking over as Jetstar CEO in 2003. Similarly, Gareth Evans joined Qantas in 1999, with roles as the group’s chief financial officer and CEO of Qantas International and Freight in his development, before taking over as Jetstar CEO in 2017. In yesterday’s announcement, Joyce also made mention of the role Evans has played over the last 23 years.
“Gareth has been a superb member of the Qantas Group Executive team for many years. We’re pleased to have his knowledge and experience in the months ahead to help with this transition and key projects in our recovery.”
So the pattern is there of long-serving executives learning their craft within Qantas before finding their way into the Jetstar CEO position. Stephanie Tully’s experience goes as deep as management roles across cabin crew, customer experience, the airline’s loyalty program and executive manager of brand and marketing.
Since 2019 she has been the Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer and now begins the transition to running the stand-alone Jetstar. She certainly starts that with the complete confidence of her boss, with Joyce describing her as “an outstanding leader with a deep understanding of the customer experience.”
Jetstar’s first Airbus A321LR is about to enter service, with 17 more to follow by mid-2024. Photo: Airbus.
Tough time to takeover
It is not an easy time to take the helm, with Jetstar mired in all sorts of problems due to maintenance and supply chain issues with their Boeing B787-8s, which have left customers stranded in Japan, Bali, and Honolulu. On top of that, Jetstar made an AU$796 million ($515m) loss in earnings before interest and tax in the 2022 financial year. Evans is leaving Qantas by the end of this year, and the airline said the official handover to Tully will not take place until November, which might give the new CEO some clear air to start her new job.
Anyone with a passing interest in Australian aviation would know that Qantas, and its CEO Alan Joyce, have been publicly pilloried for most of 2022. In a common theme for airlines globally, Qantas has failed to adequately meet the surge in pent-up demand for travel, with significant failures in on-time performance, baggage handling and cancelation rates.
Jetstar is having supply chain issues that are leaving passengers stranded in airports for days, just as international demand takes off. Photo: Cairns Airport
Jetstar has not been immune to these lapses, and the current unavailability of some B787s has visibly turned up the heat. Joyce said:
“These appointments come at an important time for us. The team is working incredibly hard to overcome challenges facing the whole industry as it gets back on its feet, and the data shows we’re almost there. Managing this kind of executive renewal internally means we keep our momentum and can leverage a huge amount of corporate knowledge, including during the transition.”
Markus Svensson, currently the executive manager of network, revenue management and alliances, will take over as Chief Customer Officer. In his current role, he manages a large part of the commercial strategy for Qantas International and Qantas Domestic. He was previously Qantas’ regional general manager in the UK, Europe and the Middle East and joined the Qantas Group as head of strategy in 2011.