Is Qantas shirking its corporate responsibilities?

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There’re a couple of letters in today’s issue of The Age (8/11/2010) related to Qantas’s A380 problems that I think illustrate a tendency to over-egg the corporate responsibility pudding.

A Peter Tregear of Brunswick is surprised that on a recent flight from Hobart to Melbourne, Qantas’s in-flight news service did not cover the serious engine trouble the airline was having at the time with the A380 Airbus.

He wonders if the news provider, Channel Nine, came under pressure from Qantas to excise the story or whether it was self-censorship by the network. Either way, he concludes, it’s not a great moment for either journalism or corporate honesty. He asks if Qantas has something to hide.

I would say the last thing some passengers want to hear about while they’re mid-flight is the vulnerability of flying. A flight from Hobart is likely to have more occasional flyers who might have some fear of flying than (say) flights on the Sydney-Melbourne routes that have many frequent business travellers.

This story dominated the terrestrial news so I don’t think passengers wouldn’t have known about Qantas’s problems before they boarded. And the in-flight news is invariably so out of date so it would be hard to argue passengers were being denied ‘new’ information. Read the rest of this entry »