Tallaght native Alan Joyce holds one of the top executive jobs in the world with Qantas Airways. Alan spoke with News Talk this week about his career to date, his families emphasis on education and his life in Tallaght.
Born here almost 50 years ago into a working class family he has gone on to hold one of the most sought after positions in aviation. His mother was a cleaner and his father worked in a tobacco factory Alan says
“Early days I was living in Tallaght, I went to St Marks Community School. My parents were very focused on education and were very passionate about that. Both my parents didn’t finish secondary education, had four kids and were really keen on us getting good careers and they put us through college.”
Alan’s father worked two jobs in order to ensure he and his siblings all attended college. Alan went on to DIT doing a degree in applied science then after that got a Masters degree in Operations Research from here he went on to Aer Lingus where he worked as an Operations Research Analyst and that is where it all began.
Then in 2000 he joined Qantas. There Alan headed the Network Planning, Schedules Planning and Network Strategy functions. He became CEO of Qantas on 28 November 2008. The Australian named Alan the most influential business leader in 2011.
The company this month just announced record €620 million profits and intends to return half of it to shareholders. Alan who also spoke to The Irish Times told them how delighted he was to see the company turn it around and of course the part everyone played in that mentioning the 30.000 airline staff and their efforts, he said
“Mostly I felt happy for our people and the effort they put in. Another factor was the large number of satisfied travellers that flew with Qantas. We have never dropped the ball when it came to customer service, we have continuously invested in that all through transformation.”
As Alan stated at the beginning of the interview, education has always been important to not just his own parents but also him. This surely played a part in him becoming the Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, a position he still holds.
Looking back over the last few years I am sure Alan could never have imagined a career leading one of the world’s biggest airlines, turning 50 this year the Tallaght man is proof that when you put your mind to something anything is possible, what is it they say? the sky’s the limit.