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Joe Aston’s Upcoming Book: The Chairman’s Lounge – A Deeper Dive into the Qantas Saga


In 2024, Joe Aston, the former editor of The Australian Financial Review’s Rear Window column, embarked on a literary journey to expand on his year-long reporting on Qantas, culminating in the early retirements of CEO Alan Joyce and Chairman Richard Goyder. His highly anticipated book, The Chairman’s Lounge, promises to provide new insights, interviews, and details that build upon his extensive work. Scheduled for publication in the latter half of 2024 by Simon & Schuster, this book delves into the intricate story of Qantas, a tale not yet concluded.

The Genesis of The Chairman’s Lounge

Aston’s decision to delve into book writing stemmed from discussions with Simon & Schuster prior to his departure from The Australian Financial Review. Initially hesitant to revisit the Qantas saga he had extensively covered for a year, he recognized the need for a comprehensive narrative, especially considering the ongoing developments within the company. After a six-week overseas trip, Aston was convinced that the story needed to be told thoroughly and properly, compelling him to embark on this writing project.

Aston’s Perspective on Qantas’ Transformation

Aston believes that Qantas’ claim of transformation is superficial, pointing to their ongoing disputes with baggage handlers over compensation and their legal battle with the ACCC regarding ghost flights. He asserts that the company’s actions contradict their заявления о переменах.

The Significance of The Chairman’s Lounge

Aston’s book aims to serve as a comprehensive record of the Qantas saga, preventing the events from fading into obscurity. By compiling all relevant information in one place, he hopes to ensure that the company’s actions and the lessons learned are not easily forgotten.

Key Themes Explored in The Chairman’s Lounge

1. Qantas’ Leadership and Corporate Culture:

Aston’s book examines the leadership styles and decisions of Alan Joyce and Richard Goyder, exploring how they shaped Qantas’ culture and contributed to the company’s challenges.

2. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

The book delves into the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Qantas, analyzing the company’s response, financial struggles, and the resulting turmoil within the organization.

3. Industrial Relations and Labor Disputes:

Aston investigates Qantas’ labor relations, shedding light on the conflicts with baggage handlers, pilots, and other employee groups, and the implications of these disputes on the company’s operations and reputation.

4. Government Oversight and Regulatory Scrutiny:

The book explores the role of government agencies, such as the ACCC, in overseeing Qantas’ conduct, examining their investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices and other questionable actions.

5. The Future of Qantas and the Aviation Industry:

Aston analyzes the challenges and opportunities facing Qantas in the post-pandemic era, considering the evolving landscape of the aviation industry, technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences.


Joe Aston’s The Chairman’s Lounge promises to be a comprehensive and insightful examination of the Qantas saga, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the events that led to the early retirements of Alan Joyce and Richard Goyder. The book’s exploration of Qantas’ leadership, corporate culture, labor relations, regulatory scrutiny, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic offers a valuable perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the aviation industry in the years to come.