Qantas gives Hickey a hospital handpass

The national carrier is under attack from all angles as its international business haemorrhages, its profitable domestic business faces the threat of Borghetti's Virgin, and a myriad of market pressures continue to weigh.

The extent of the challenge Alan Joyce has handed Simon Hickey became clear today with the shock disclosure that Qantas International is generating a destabilising deluge of red ink that will nearly wipe out the Qantas group’s earnings this year.

While it was known that the international business was haemorrhaging – it lost $216 million last financial year – the scale of the losses Qantas disclosed today was completely unexpected and sent Qantas shares into a tailspin.

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