The Qantas brand takes a $384 million hit

New figures from Brand Finance reveal the full extent of the carrier's reputational damage, Janie Medbury writes.

A NEW report has shed light on just how badly the Qantas brand has suffered after a tumultuous few years, resulting in the once-loved Aussie airline slipping five spots down to 21st place on the 2024 list of airline brand value rankings, representing an eye-watering loss of $384 million.

The Flying Kangaroo’s descent goes against the broader industry trend, which saw the top 10 global carriers increase their brand value by 17% in the last year, with Delta Air Lines leading the pack, enjoying a 21% jump in value to $16.5 billion.

The Brand Finance data also shows that British Airways added the most brand value from 2023 to 2024, up by 45%, while Emirates and Qatar Airways were also strong performers.

The news for Qantas isn’t all bad though, according to Brand Finance’s Managing Director Mark Crowe, who pointed out that both internal and external factors are likely to keep the brand afloat over the next year.

“Favourable market conditions are expected to uplift Qantas’s investment in customer experience to strengthen its brand, therefore arresting a further decline in value,” he said.

Well aware of the damage sustained to its brand in recent times due to poor schedule performances and accusations of unethical sales practices, not to mention allegations of unfair dismissals, the airline’s CEO Vanessa Hudson has promised shareholders that a “brand renewal” is top-of-mind for the airline.

“I am determined to make Qantas one of the most trusted brands in the country again,” Hudson declared at her first AGM as chief in November last year. “Doing this won’t be easy and will take time but I am are confident we will succeed.”

The national carrier has already started to make good on that commitment by overhauling its leadership team, as well as scrapping fees associated with changing the name on tickets if mistakes are made, partnering with banks to automate refunds, and enhancing its Qantas app to win back more trust with consumers.

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