Alan Joyce, CEO of Australia's struggling flag carrier, told CNBC he believes his job is safe, a day after Qantas announced a hefty pre-tax loss and plans to slash 5,000 jobs.
"I think what's important for the board [and] for the management is to have a plan to turn things around, be proactive and have the courage to implement that plan. I have the confidence of the board, I have the confidence of the shareholders - we are getting on with our plan," said Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas on Friday.
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Shares tanked 9 percent on Thursday, are down near 40 percent since April and worth only half of what they were when Joyce took the helm in late 2008, while the airline's credit rating is now junk across the board.
As Qantas' losses stack up the pressure has increased on Joyce to resign. But Joyce defended his competence for the job to CNBC, and blamed recent struggles on the challenging environment.
"I've been CEO of the airline for 10 years. Nine out of 10 years I've reported profits. I think that's unique. Most airline CEOs don't have the luxury of doing that. This is tough year, but our competitors are losing a lot of money domestically. The environment with capacity and fuel prices is pretty bad," he added.
Qantas, which is Australia's largest airline, hit the headlines on Thursday after it announced a first-half underlying loss before tax of A$252 million ($224 million). It also unveiled a drastic cost-cutting regime, involving job losses, the sale of older aircraft and cuts in capital spending amidst growing competition.
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Joyce, who told CNBC the environment the airline was facing was the "most challenging it's ever faced," confirmed that he would be taking a pay cut himself this year.
"The board and myself are taking a pay cut... my salary this year will be 38 percent lower than last year, so everybody in the company is in same boat. Everybody in the company will take a pay freeze and will not be paid bonuses, and that will continue until the company makes money again," he added.