Alan Joyce & Paul Scurrah

CEO, Qantas Group & CEO, Virgin Australia Group
'The Great Australian Monopoly: Where nobody wins but the airports'
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm
Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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‘The Great Australian Monopoly: Where nobody wins but the airports’

There are few topics that will bring together the “rivals of the skies”, but there is one issue that unites even the fiercest of competitors: Australia’s monopoly airports as claimed by the industry.

In an historic first, the CEOs of Australia’s major domestic airlines will address the National Press Club. Alan Joyce AC (Qantas Group), Paul Scurrah (Virgin Australia), will highlight the significant contribution that airlines make directly to the Australian economy and what else could be achieved if airlines were not held back by the monopoly prices  at our airports.

Industry leaders will argue that while airfares have decreased over time in the competitive airline environment, airport charges – in both city and regional airports – have continued to rise. Now 20 years post-privatisation, the airports’ regulatory settings have passed their use-by date and reform is long overdue.

The airlines have collectively called on the Government to implement sensible reforms proposed by the ACCC that would bring airports into line with other essential infrastructure in Australia.


Alan Joyce AC has been Qantas Group CEO since 2008. He has overseen one of the biggest transformations in the carrier’s 98-year history, helping it to deliver record profit together with high levels of customer satisfaction and employee engagement. 

He previously served as founding CEO of Jetstar, establishing its operations in Australia and Asia, after spending more than 15 years in key positions at Qantas, Ansett and Aer Lingus.

He was named a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2017 for his services to “the aviation transport industry, to the development of the national and international tourism sectors, to gender equality, inclusion and diversity, and to the community, particularly as a supporter of indigenous education”.

Mr Paul Scurrah was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Australia Group on 25 March 2019.

Paul has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the transport, logistics, travel and aviation sectors having previously been CEO of DP World Australia and Queensland Rail and held Executive Management roles at Aurizon, Flight Centre and Tourism Queensland.