Goodbye Qantas

qantas-tail

In 1973 Qantas served an extensive world network of 37 overseas destinations compared with 21 today. (Wikipedia)

What happened to all those destinations?

In 1993 the Australian government privatised its national airline, receiving A$1.45 billion in proceeds. (Wikipedia)

What happened to the money?

Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Qantas’s credit rating to sub-investment grade, a day after the company announced plans to sack 1,000 workers over the next 12 months. S&P lowered the airline’s credit rating from BBB- rating, which is the lowest investment grade rating, to BB+. A below-investment-grade rating is known as “junk” status among professional investors. (ABC news, 6 December 2013)

What has happened to our “flag-carrying” national airline, sold to foreigners and managed by a foreigner? Why are Qantas’ successful main competitors carefully and strongly supported by foreign national governments? Why is Australia governed by amiable half-wits? Or are they really all that amiable?