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Phillip Adams, a columnist for The Weekend Australian magazine and ABC Radio National host, says he convinced former chairman Jim Leslie to adopt the tagline in the 1980s and Peter Allen to allow his iconic tune I Still Call Australia Home to become Qantas’ anthem.
However, last week the former advertising guru directed an angry message towards the airline’s boss Alan Joyce demanding they drop his catchphrase due to ongoing scandals involving laid-off staff, cancelled flights, lost luggage and extensive delays.
‘Alan Joyce. You force to repeat myself. I’m the author of ‘the Spirit of Australia’. Then deserved, now tragically inappropriate,’ he wrote to Twitter.
‘My slogan is hereby vetoed. Please remove it from all fuselages, tickets and advertising.’
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Qantas said: ‘The Spirit of Australia tagline is an iconic part of the Qantas brand and isn’t going anywhere.’
The airline has revealed last week it will reduce the number of domestic flights by five per cent for July, August and September – adding to the 10 per cent announced in May.
Qantas Domestic reportedly made 4,500 flights per week in the lead-up to the Covid pandemic, meaning a 15 per cent cutback would lead to 675 fewer flights.
It was also forced to apologise to more than 300 passengers recently who were left stranded at Dallas/Forth Worth Airport for 24 hours – with many forced to sleep on the floor.
Customers said there was no Qantas presence at the airport, and the airline were unreachable despite numerous attempts from Aussies waiting to fly home and American staff.
Disgruntled workers recently revealed to Daily Mail Australia last month what it’s really like to work for the Flying Kangaroo, levelling extraordinary allegations against the airline amid a bitter court battle that could result in a multi-million dollar payout.
The Transport Workers Union took Qantas to court in late 2020, when it was ruled the airline illegally sacked nearly 2,000 baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff before outsourcing their jobs to foreign-owned providers, including Swissport.
The trickle-down effect has seen jaded customers, including Frequent Flyer members, saying they are looking to other airlines when flying.