Ansett Australia was Australia’s second biggest airline group. The airline flew domestically within Australia and from the 1990s to destinations in Asia. After operating for 66 years, the airline was placed into the administration of Air New Zealand in 2000 following a financial collapse. In the early hours of 14 September, the administrator determined that Ansett was not viable to continue operations (primarily due to the apparent lack of any funds to cover fuel, catering or employee wages) and grounded the fleets of Ansett and its subsidiaries Hazelton Airlines, Kendell, Skywest and Aeropelican.
Now I know this may be a touchy topic for some (In particular the salty Aussies and the defensive Kiwis).
As some of you may know, my dad is a former employee of Ansett. I was sensing that some of you may be interested so I did an ‘interview’ with my dad. I took questions that some of my friends on the IFC asked and answered them here.
Feel free to post any questions you have for my dad below and I will be sure to answer them.
Anyway, here are some submitted questions from the community so far regarding Ansett in general and the collapse.
What’s the reason why ansett Airlines lost all of there money? Submitted by @Callum_Brayshaw
Well, one of the reasons for losing their money was that they had too many different types of aircraft - Their fleet consisted of a range of planes including 20 Airbus A320’s, 20 BAE146’s, 1 Boeing 727, 24 Boeing 737’s, 5 Boeing 747’s, 13 Boeing 767’s, 12 CRJ-200’s, 4 DHC-6’s, 9 Fokker 50’s, 1 Fokker F27, 4 Fokker F28’s, 7 Metro 23’s and 16 Saab 340’s. Now ultimately this meant that they needed more people trained up that specialised in maintaining these aircraft and if they needed parts it would be very costly.
That’s why airlines like emirates are so successful, ie, they only operate the 777 and the a380.
Why did they let Air New Zealand buy them out even though there was interest from better airlines? Submitted by @Connor
Air New Zealand acquired full ownership of Ansett, buying out News Corporation’s stake for A$680 million, surpassing Singapore Airlines’s A$500 million bid.
At the time, Ansett had a big part of the market share, and Air New Zealand believed that if they bought into this there would be a big profit. Pretty much, Air New Zealand were eager for money and did it solely for the that purpose. Little did they realise that Ansett was having a lot of problems of their own when it was bought out.
And they didn’t ‘let’ Air New Zealand buy them out, they were forced to. Air New Zealand gave the highest offer and if they refused it then Ansett probably would’ve collapsed on its own.
What in your opinion was the business decision that led to the downfall of Ansett? Submitted by @Bev7787
In my opinion it was the buying of lots of aircraft in small quantities - my answer to Callum’s question earlier.
The substantially overpaid staff, an aging fleet and grounding of the Boeing 767 fleet due to maintenance irregularities - this all left Ansett seriously short of cash, losing over $1.3 million a day.
Was Air New Zealand the sole source of Ansetts falling? Submitted by @Connor
No, Air New Zealand was not the sole source. Ansett had a lot of problems before getting bought out (which I have stated earlier) but it certainly didn’t help that ANZ did buy it. Bigger airlines like Singapore airlines with bigger cashflow would’ve been a better option but Air New Zealand at the time barely had enough funds to keep themselves running, let alone Ansett.
How did Air New Zealand deal with Ansett being broke and what other airlines helped with paying back with Ansett being broke? Submitted by @Callum_Brayshaw
After going bankrupt, Air New Zealand pulled a “every man for them self” kind of attitude. Ansett was responsible for paying back their debts
Ansett was able to pay some back with selling their parts and stuff but really they couldn’t do anything
For example, in terms of superannuation and other payments employees were meant to be given, I (my dad) was payed this in small amounts annually. Like I would receive a couple hundred a year, 1000 here and there
Also, the people that had booked holidays after the bankruptcy were not given compensation
So what happened to all of their aircraft? Submitted by @Callum_Brayshaw
The planes were either scrapped or they were just sold on- For example Jet2 got the 737s, bae146s scrapped, a320s went everywhere
(one crashed in 2006)
The 767s were returned to lessors, sold or scrapped
How did you find out that Ansett had collapsed? Submitted by me
Well, I showed up to work on the morning on the collapse as per usual. It all started with the caterers deciding to stop work because they weren’t getting as much pay as promised. Followed by the refuellers, and so on. The last flights left when they could but the rest were grounded.
What airline would you go to after Ansett’s collaspe, if you wanted to? Submitted by @nativetoalaska
After the collapse of Ansett, I applied for a job at qantas and was chosen with 4 other people out of the 50 people that applied in the Northern Territory. I much preferred working at Ansett though.
And thats all the questions so far.
I hope you enjoyed this!
If you have any other questions about Ansett and the collapse make sure to let me know below ;)